I didn’t know there was such a thing as International Book Giving Day until my friend, writer and do-gooder Susan Schaefer Bernardo, told me. So it was inevitable that I would ask Susan, the author of a children’s book, Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs if she’d write a guest post and yes, give a copy of the book to a Confessions of Motherhood reader. Everyone who leaves a comment will receive an e-book, and one commenter picked at random (scout’s honor) will receive a hard copy of the book. So make sure to leave a comment at the end of this post!
Susan says, “Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs was born out of love and loss. I wanted my kids to know that I love them wherever they go — that we are connected even when we are physically apart.”
Here is more from Susan:
When Laura asked me to write a guest post for this beautiful blog, I sifted through my memory for a captivating confession. I’ve got lots, what with sixteen years of mothering two boys under my belt (a larger belt these days — I’ve been eating the crusts off their pb&j sandwiches).
I’ve got more confessions than my son has little-bitty Legos. All those times they wore mismatched socks to school because I didn’t get the laundry done…Or how about the infamous day I threw my son into the pool to end a tantrum (he held tight and pulled me in with him!).
Here’s another confession: I was glad he clung to me, because I absolutely, positively hate letting go. I know, I know — it was clearly stated in the job description. Moms are meant to help their kids grow strong wings and show them how to fly the nest. I do…but at every step – the first day of pre-school, first sleepover, first driving lesson – it feels like part of my heart flies off with them.
My children’s book, Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs was born out of love and loss. I wanted my kids to know that I love them wherever they go — that we are connected even when we are physically apart.
Mother love transcends all the “bad mommy” moments: it’s a love that isn’t conditional on how clean their rooms are or whether we got enough sleep last night. It’s a love permanently etched onto our hearts like the stretch marks etched onto our bellies. Love is an ever-present force of nature, as powerful as the moon’s gravity:
“It’s true the moon cannot reach down to hold your hand,
but she’s strong enough to pull waves onto sand.
Her invisible arms rock the tides by night and day,
Like my love holds you safely when I am away.”
The last few years have been challenging –a painful divorce (is there any other kind?), a transition from stay-at-home mom to working woman. The hardest part for me has been sharing custody. I miss my kids intensely, even though they are safe and happy with dad, too.
My friend Courtenay Fletcher and I take a lot of long “walk n’talks.” In 2012, I shared how I missed my boys…and she shared her sadness about a friend dying of breast cancer and leaving behind a 5-year-old daughter. As we consoled each other, Courtenay recalled something her mother once said: “Even when we are apart, we see the same moon – and we can send each other hugs that way.”
That idea inspired me to write a poem. That poem inspired Courtenay to create beautiful illustrations. A book took shape, and we became two moms with a mission. We raised $10,000 on Kickstarter and printed 3,000 copies. (The book took nine months from conception to birth – how perfect is that?)
Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs is a book for every child – it reassures kids they are always connected to the ones they love. Soothing words for bedtime…and for hard times, too, when kids suffer grief or separation anxiety. Writing the book helped heal the ‘child alone’ inside me, too.
Whenever I miss you, I will find a way to hug and kiss you….
Hugs by moon, and kisses by sun,
I’ll always love you, Little One.”
So that’s my big confession. I love my kids like crazy, and I’m willing to do the time for my crime. In fact, like every mother I know, I will happily serve a life sentence – and beyond.
Author Susan Schaefer Bernardo and illustrator Courtenay Fletcher love to share Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs with kids and families in need…so they donate lots of copies to great charities like A Window Between Worlds, United through Reading, hospitals and more. Once in a blue moon, they offer the e-book FREE so EVERYBODY can share the love. It might not be the world’s most profitable business model, but it works for them. Hardcover and Kindle versions are available at Amazon.com…if you love the book, please leave a review!
Be sure to comment below to receive your free e-book and a chance to receive a hard copy in honor of National Book Giving Day.