The Inspiration

I thought I’d share about how my latest release, Madeleine’s Midday Updates, came about.  But I’ve already done that in the Introduction.  So, here it is:

When our daughter and son-in-law had to return to work following the birth of their first child, my wife, Rebecca, andI offered to keep our granddaughter.  I had no clue what I was getting into, but my wife was sure this would be a wonderful thing, not only for the baby, but also for her parents and us.  She was spot on!

Having Madeleine with us for so many days this past year hasbeen one of the delights of my life. Exhausting?  YES!  I’m sure glad we had our children when wewere in our 20’s.  I completelyunderstand and sympathize more than ever now with older parents.  Still, it’s worth it.

I was on duty in the mornings, my wife afternoons.  Madeleine arrived at 8:30am and left around5:45pm each weekday.  What follows is acompilation of text messages I sent to her parents most days.  Where you see breaks means we didn’t haveMadeleine.  I took some time to visit myother daughter (referred to in these messages as Aunt Margarett) and her familyon the East Coast.  Madeleine, becauseshe was breastfeeding, accompanied her mother to New York City on multiple businesstrips.

This idea evolved after getting several telephone calls eachday inquiring about the status of their little Miss M.  Babies require a lot of attention, in caseyou didn’t know.  Truth be told, I didn’trealize how much.  But I sure do now.  Invariably, those calls would come during adiaper change, feeding, or some other necessary task.  It sure is challenging holding a phone anddoing any of those things simultaneously. So, I had this idea of sharing about our day.

The messages were originally written as text messages via telephoneand sent to our little group of four.  Theyare written in Madeleine’s voice and there is a lot of repetition.  Even so, most people we shared them withloved the idea.  More than one suggestedthey should be compiled and published. That was never my intent when I started. Now, however, with her parents’ permission, that is what I’ve done.

In the back of this book, you’ll find a resource page.  Occasionally, someone asked what a certainitem was that I mentioned.  Kids thingsare a lot different than forty years ago. That section describes many of the items and provides links if you’reinterested in learning more.

This book’s cover design is inspired by the white boarddrawing my wife did for Madeleine that is mentioned in various updates.  I’m grateful to my mother and Madeleine’sgreat-grandmother, Bonnie Bailey Hall, for her careful proofreading.

Now, I hope every time you pick up this book and read a fewpages, it brings a smile.

Ben Coleman (aka Daddy Ben)