Big Fun and Mac’s Backs After Tommy’s

We went to the Coventry area for dinner tonight. It was too hot to cook. Attached to the wonderful Tommy’s restaurant is the infamous Mac’s Backs. A local independent. A Cleveland establishment. I brought some of my bumper stickers and put them on the bulletin board, but when it came to talking to Suzanne, I totally chickened out. I can promote the daylights out of anyone else’s work, but for some reason, my own? Not so much.

It’s not that I don’t believe in the book. I do. I know it has an audience. Over and over I am hearing from readers, “I couldn’t put it down.” People are reading it in one or two days. I’m not saying Daughter of the Drunk at the Bar is a masterpiece, but’s it’s my own, and people (even those I don’t know) are e-mailing me unsolicited and saying good things. 

Back to Mac’s Backs. We walked out. I had lots of excuses. I needed to put more money in the parking meter. The kids were suddenly thirsty. So many reasons why I couldn’t talk to Suzanne. Not then. Maybe another day, when the kids aren’t with me. It’s too hard. I don’t want to bother her. Gotta run. 

So anyway…right near Mac’s Backs is a store called Big Fun. Seth’s favorite. A novelty store full of crazy toys, nostalgic things, gross things, FUN things. Some freaky things. Packed to the gills with “Big Fun.” Even the ceilings are painted in graffiti. Riley has never gone in. It has always been too, too much for her heightened sensory system. Merely peeping in the window has frightened her.  

Tonight as we were walking by I asked if she would like to go in. Predictably, she said no. We stood in front. Little brother perfectly willing not to push for it, not to upset her, totally wanting to go in. I said, “Riley, I think you are at the point where you could do this now. You are handling things so much better. You are really growing up.”

She is.

Seth looked hopeful but tried to act casual. He shrugged, hands in pockets, fedora on his head.

“I don’t know,” she said.

Gently I said, “Riley, I think your fear of this is worse than the actual reality of what’s inside. You can do this.”

We stood there, the three of us taking deep breaths, getting up her nerve. She clutched my hand tightly and at last, we went through the door. Once in, she was cautious for about sixty seconds, repeating to herself, “I can do this. I can do this.” Then, she wound up loving it. So many fascinating trinkets to look at. So many whoopie cushions.

Watching my daughter explore the store, I admired her so much. She is so brave. I am such a chicken.

The kids had their big fun for a half hour. Stepping out of the store, it was my turn. If she could be that brave, I could too. Back to Mac’s Backs.

Suzanne was there, warm and lovely. Supportive. She bought a copy of Daughter of the Drunk at the Bar (which I had in my bag) and said she’d order more to sell in the store. Can you hear me exhale?

The Universe wants to support me, if only I’m brave enough to ask.

I can do this.

I can do this.

I learned it from my girl.

This entry was posted in appreciation, Asperger's, Daughter of the Drunk at the Bar, Parenting, special needs parenting, special needs siblings, Uncategorized, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Big Fun and Mac’s Backs After Tommy’s

  1. KFuller says:

    Yes you can do this.

  2. naomi says:

    I love you brave, brave girls. It is HARD to promote yourself, but you are also promoting a beautifully told story which just happens to be yours.

  3. Chris V. says:

    So great…. so cool…. YOU DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!
    getting some courage just reading this!!!!!!

  4. Amanda says:

    Get in!! 🙂

    and also glad you’re taking your own advice, grasshopper…

  5. danielle says:

    It’s amazing what are children are here to teach us, isn’t it? So many folks whizzing right by these deep, critical lessons. You pay attention, you paid attention, and it paid off. Self-promotion is SO hard (for me anyway…) so big bravo to you and Riley for being so brave!

  6. kario says:

    But did you get a whoopie cushion? 😉

    I love these lessons we get by being parents to our children and ourselves simultaneously.


  7. Dee Ready says:

    Out of the mouths and courage and actions of babes comes the inspiration we need
    to move forward ourselves. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story. Peace.

  8. Tanya Savko says:

    You (and Riley!) are SO BRAVE. I’m still working up to being able to walk into my local independent bookstore and ask if I can do a book signing!

  9. Dee Ready says:

    Dear Michelle, Thank you sincerely for commenting on several of my postings. I treasure your appreciation of that little girl who felt deserted in kindergarten. Your book has revealed to me another little girl who also experienced hard and tragic times early in her life. Both of us have not only survived, we have, in a real way, triumphed. Out of pain and darkness has come light for us.

    I’m reading your book slowly. I’m halfway through now and I am cringing at the peepholes and the fear with which you lived. I admire you greatly for writing about that time in your life. Your honesty is a gift to us.


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