Thank you to all who attended my recent reading at a private home in Cooperstown, N.Y. Having over 20 people in a living room is always a treat, and there were numerous distinguished professionals from different fields; I was delighted to see how receptive they were to my stories and ideas.
The reading I shared was from the chapter She Wanted Miracles, which is all about family communication, and it was about work I did with a 15-year-old girl and her mother. Mom had become pregnant at 14 and dropped out of school to have her daughter. Working together, with support from the clinic and others, we got the girl through high school and all the way to age 20 without a pregnancy. The story pointed to the importance of parents and professionals from different agencies collaborating to support youth who struggle; to the success that we can, in fact, achieve when we work together.
Following the story, one of the first comments came from a retired physician, an OBGYN who thanked me for sharing the story and honored me by telling all of us that my work made his job easier. Other questions and comments led to discussions on the importance of male involvement, of building bridges to support youth—even across political lines—and the importance of youth having accurate information and access to resources. We also discussed the prevalence of false and misleading information now being funded by federal dollars and the importance of parents and community members knowing what speakers and presenters are going into schools, ensuring that misinformation is kept out: it is often the case that a single, alert parent or community member can make a huge difference simply by calling attention to the problem.
Following the discussion, my heart was lifted by all the positive comments from participants as they warmly swarmed around me, patiently waiting their turn to share their own story, purchase my book, and have it inscribed.
Thank you all for keeping my spirits up within my circle. As we witness, together, all the harm our current White House is trying to do regarding rolling back the clock on issues of sexuality education and access to a full range of reproductive health services, events like this one are particularly uplifting to me.
Please remember to pass the book on when you’re done with it, and if you have other audiences you’d like me to address—for a reading, presentation, or discussion—please reach out.