The Story Behind Missing You Books
As a child, I always loved to read and write. When I was younger, I especially loved books that were fun, that rhymed and that I could relate to. Books about building snowmen, wearing snowsuits, playing outside, dancing or road trips always made me excited because I had experienced those things. They reminded me of memories in my own life that I had done with my own parents.
I was very lucky growing up. I had supportive parents who were always home on weekends and evenings and who always told me they loved me. Looking back, I know they shaped me into the person I am today. I’m so glad that they gave me so many memories to hold on to throughout the years of love, friendship and helping others. During high school when I started contemplating what I wanted to do with my life, two things were clear. One, I wanted to help people, and two, I loved writing.
I decided to get my BA in English since I loved to write. I spent five wonderful years learning about writing and analyzing books and even had the opportunity to live in England for a year on exchange. Throughout my degree I had ideas for books, but nothing that ended up on paper. There was always something else happening in my life.
The inspiration for my first book came after I gave birth to my first child, Jack. My husband took two months of parental leave after our son was born, and before I knew it, he was going back to his job as a nurse. I had never thought about the hours of a nurse in terms of raising a family. Suddenly, he was gone 14 hours a day or sleeping through the day and then working at night. I realized that my expectations of family life coming from a household of parents that works 9-5 was far different than the reality of a family who has a parent who does shift work.
My husband found it extremely difficult to be a shift work parent, too. During day shifts, he didn’t see our son at all because of his sleep schedule. Night shifts were a little better because he would see Jack for about an hour a day. Going to work was hard on my husband because he wanted to be there to play with Jack. He felt guilty that he had to leave. He was worried that Jack would forget who his dad was if he wasn’t seeing him everyday. He was concerned that he would miss out participating in the everyday activities like bedtime and walks with Jack.
After about a year of guilt, concern, and worry I decided I wanted to write a bedtime story for Jack that tells him how much his father misses him when he’s not home, and include pictures of the two of them together. My husband thought it was a great idea, and when I read it to our son complete with pictures, Jack would sit there and point at the pictures of him and his dad. Knowing that Jack had this story made my husband feel better about going to work. He knew he would be remembered. He knew Jack was being told his father cared.
After I finished writing the first story, I knew that I had the chance to help other families who go through the same situation every day as working parents. I began writing more stories about children experiencing everyday activities with their parents and made room for family photos to be inserted. It has been a wonderful experience capturing memories in stories to bring families together. It has worked to bridge the distance between my son and his father while at work, and I hope it can do the same for your family.