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The book was finally edited and in a completed stage. Next came formatting. In my mind’s eye I always knew what I wanted this book to feel like: Crisp white pages. Type big enough to read. A months’ worth (30 in all) short lessons–Each lesson preceded by a tagline or synopsis and a whimsical dog caricature at the top of each lesson. I was finished, except for the dog caricatures.

With my son Michael (RAMSA Architect extraordinaire) creating houses for the one percent of the one percent, Michael was always busy. I struggled with the fact that my only son didn’t have time to draw my sketches. I was his mother and with his talent, I figured he could just whip these sketches out…after all, they were for me! And, of course, I thought, Michael had to be as excited about this book as I was!! (Note to self: perhaps there is lesson 31 in this thought. Despite their breeding, both children and dogs have their own inner clocks, their own inner likes and dislikes and their own inner motivational pull.)

Every time I spoke to Michael, the conversation drifted into the book topic and I asked where he was on my sketches. The call always ended up with me pushing and pushing and then feeling hurt and frustrated and Michael (who probably never really wanted to do the project in the first place) internalized my non-stop pushing and motherly guilt shutting down. Looking back, it was not my best example of motherhood.

On May 10, 2020, Mother’s Day I received an email from Michael. The subject line read: Happy Mother’s Day.

Upon opening it, the email text read:

The email contained a file of 30 original perfectly drawn illustrations. My book was now complete!  I cried like a baby. Then Michael called me on the phone to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day and I cried more. Best Mother’s Day gift ever! Although I may not be the best Mother ever, I do have two incredible kids and that son of mine had given me his heart in art form.