First of all, huge thanks to everyone for all of your incredibly positive feedback!!
So what’s the story with the back cover?
Actually, that wasn’t the first back cover.
The original back cover had a yellow background (the same yellow as the font on the front) and a small photo of Andie from the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) in the upper left-hand corner.
It was nice.
“What do you think of this back cover,” I asked Tuck, holding the laptop screen with the first back cover design in front of his skateboarding magazine. He studied it for a moment. “It’s nice,” he said.
“How would you change it?” I asked.
He brushed his hair out of his eyes and studied the screen.
He sat up a bit, moved the computer cursor around and pulled up the book’s front cover – the front cover emblazoned with his little sister’s photo. The front cover he’d referred to three times in as many weeks when responding to his sister’s seemingly trivial complaints. “What do you have to worry about? Your photo is on the cover of Mommy’s book.”
Ouch. I winched each and every time, wondering how many other times he’d said similar remarks that I hadn’t heard.
“I think the back cover should be like the color of the bark on the tree on the front,” he said.
I waited while he chewed his thumb, staring at the screen.
“And softer,” he said. “The back cover needs to be much softer.” Then he set the laptop down, and picked up his magazine. Clearly our meeting was adjourned.
I typed up what Tucker said in an email and hit send.
The next morning a reply was waiting in my inbox, “Tell Tucker he nailed it,” it read.
When I opened the attachment, chills began at the top of my head and quivered down to my toes.
I showed the image to Tucker.
He studied it for but a moment before declaring, “Perfect.” Then added, when he could see I was waiting for more, “It’s really perfect, Mom.”
“It is, isn’t it?” I said, but I wasn’t looking at the back cover. I was looking at my boy. My boy, who once upon a time had been that little boy in the photo – that little boy on the back cover of his Mommy’s book.
* I send my deepest love and gratitude to my brilliantly fabulous friend Shandy.
She took that photo all those years ago while we were visiting her grandmother’s farm in Maine. Shandy somehow managed to capture an ordinary, everyday moment during a time when I wasn’t sure whether ordinary, everyday moments were even possible.
(Next week – the scoop on the back cover quote from Katrina Kenison AND a chance to win a copy of her book, Mitten Strings for God.)