I wrote a book.  I’m pretty freaking excited.  After all, I’ve been working on it for eight years.  There were many moments along the way when I was tempted to settle for “almost done.”  That certainly would have been easier.  Most of the content would still be included.  The general point still would have been conveyed.

But this would have never rested well with me.  I’m either all out or not at all.  I was reminded of this in January when I attended the funeral of a good friend of mine.  The theme of his eulogy  was “All out…all the time.”  It was just the inspiration I needed to get my butt in gear.

So I hired Cass Comerford to help me finish my book.  Since January, we have worked together to create my website and establish my writing presence in the blogosphere.  We collaborated on book content, final edits, and cover art.  It’s been a ton of work, but I’m loving this feeling of “driven” that I’m rediscovering.

All of a sudden, there was nothing left to do.  I received a text from Cass that read: “Look out for a package.  I’m not good at surprises…but this is going to be so worth it.”

I was so excited.  I knew the surprise was going to be a copy of my book.  I checked the mail daily.  On Tuesday when it was supposed to arrive, the kids and I squealed when we discovered an envelope from Amazon in the mailbox.  It was just the right size of a book.  Just the right weight.  From just the right company.

We made a production of opening it together.  They were just as excited as me.  As I pulled what I could feel to be a book out of the package, my heart was racing with anticipation.  Suddenly, my racing heart fell with disappointment.  The cover was the wrong color.  The title was the wrong title.  It was The Hobbit.  It was not my book.  I was so confused – I never ordered The Hobbit.

“Oh yay!” Gabe said.  “My book from Memom finally came!”

He was the only one that was excited…trust me.

On Wednesday, we were set to go out of town to visit my brother.  When 3 0’clock rolled around and it still had yet to arrive, it was necessary to re-direct the delivery of my book to Cleveland.  Another day passed.  Still no book.

The doorbell at my brother’s house finally rang Thursday afternoon – amidst the rush of getting five kids ranging in ages from 5-10 out of the house in a hurry to make it to an appointment on time.  The kids were thrilled when they ran the Amazon box up to me.  Memom (my mom and contributing editor) was bursting at the seams for me to open it.

But there was no time.  It wasn’t a moment that I wanted to rush.  I wanted to hold it.  Look through it.  Savor it.

Per my direction, we finished getting ready and threw the unopened box in the car.  It taunted me from the floor of the passenger seat as I rushed to get to Gabe’s haircut on time.  He was long and shaggy, and my brother had made the appointment for him.  It would have been rude to be late or miss it completely.

After Gabe’s haircut, we went to a neighboring Irish Pub to eat.  After we sat down, my mom offered to retrieve my book from the car for me.   Now seemed like the only opportunity we would have to open it for the rest of the evening, since our next stop was an indoor amusement park with the kids.

I went to the car and got it myself.  I sat down in between my three kids to open it – the reason for the book in the first place.  The only main character missing from the story was Craig – but I couldn’t wait any longer, and knew he would never ask me to do so.

I had to use a butter knife to bust through the impenetrable package.  When I finally got it open, the inner contents were completely wrapped with yet another barrier!  I tore through the next layer of packaging as fast as I could.

At last!!!  My book!  And three copies to boot!!!

The twins dove for the first two copies.  “Look!  We’re on the cover!  We’re famous!” they squealed.

Gabe was polite enough to let me reach for the third copy.  He looked over my shoulder with patience as I flipped through the pages quietly.

“I’m really proud of you, Mommy,” I heard my sweet little boy say loud enough for only me to hear.

I looked up from my book for the first time since opening it.  I grabbed his cheeks in my hands and gave him a soft kiss.  “Thank you, buddy.  I love you.”

“I love you, too, Mommy,” he promised.

The sincerity in his voice touched my heart.  Then Taylor began to breeze through Chapter 1 aloud with perfect clarity as her twin sister followed along quietly and intently.

It’s a special moment that I’ll never forget.  A moment in which the reality lived up to my fantasy in every way possible.