I’m Jess, a mom of two children, and a true believer in lifting up other moms, celebrating the brave steps we take together to make a positive impact on the world. When we celebrate each other’s victories, we make movements. We make progress.
Today, we’re launching our #CelebrateRealMoms series. Every Wednesday, we’ll choose a #RealMom doing amazing things and feature her work, her struggles, ideas, victories.
For our first post in the series, we’re highlighting Kate Celauro. She’s a Nashville mom with a two amazing little boys who attend school with mine. Like us, she is passionate about literacy and loves writing, reading with her kids, and traveling. She also recently decided to do some brave things with her writing. National Read Across America Day takes place tomorrow, and it seems just right to feature Kate and her children’s book, Bartleby, as we prepare to read with our kids tomorrow.
I think I started writing children’s books because I love reading them so much. My two sons and I just finished reading Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy Watson series. There’s nothing better than curling up on the couch to eagerly begin the next installment and laughing out loud together about a pig who eats hot buttered toast.
My first children’s book, Bartleby, was inspired by a bedtime story we told our oldest when we were trying to explain the concept of being content (not so easy a task in our fast-paced modern world!). I tried to imagine a creature that would have a pretty miserable life – and of all things, a barnacle came to mind. Bartleby, however, is a very unusual barnacle. Even though he’s stuck to the leg of a pier with no real adventure in sight, he’s still joyful and contented. When he gets knocked off the pier and goes on the adventure of a lifetime, his positive outlook goes with him through all of his circumstances. I think this little crustacean has a lot to teach all of us!
My sons have loved seeing their bedtime story come to life in a book, thanks to the beautiful paper collage illustrations by their art teacher, Christy King. And, I love that Ryan still checks out ‘mama’s book’ from the school library, even though we’ve probably read it a thousand times.
One of the best parts about writing is getting to make a larger impact. Not only have we shared Bartleby with our school and other families, but the proceeds from the book also benefit our non-profit, Remember Me Mission, serving women and orphans around the globe. The mission is two-fold: to give support to organizations who work to provide healthcare and education for orphans and abandoned children in the U.S. and around the world, and to support organizations who are providing preventative support and improved maternal healthcare. It’s really true that books have the power to change the world. I’m glad I get to share them with my kids. Who knows where their love of reading and writing will take them someday?
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