My offspring have made it clear that as far as my work is concerned, they're not interested in anything less than a book. I find it very awkward telling my nonwriter friends (who outnumber my writer friends by quite a bit) that I've had something new published because they seem to feel the line between wanting to spread the joy and just plain bragging is very fine. The spouse, of course, doesn't count.
So I made a copy of my essay for the new issue of The Horn Book and gave it to my mother because who else is left? I was a little worried about how she would take it. I was afraid she'd think that I'd portrayed us as hillbillies or that she'd be offended by the news that I desperately wanted to leave town when I was a teenager.
As it turned out, she thought the piece was true to life. Perhaps the part about my wanting to leave home came as no surprise; I may not have been very subtle about it. At any rate, her question was "Who gets this magazine?" She was hoping a woman she'd known back in the hilltown would get a chance to see it.
I found this a little odd because I was under the impression they'd had a falling out thirty to thirty-five years ago and don't speak.