"A wonderful book, funny unbelievably tender, and smart. It shimmers."-Anne Lamott
Includes an all-new afterword about Adam.
John and Martha Beck had two Harvard degrees apiece when they conceived their second child. Further graduate studies, budding careers, and a growing family meant major stress- not that they'd have admitted it to anyone (or themselves). As the pregnancy progressed, Martha battled constant nausea and dehydration. And when she learned her unborn son had Down syndrome, she battled nearly everyone over her decision to continue the pregnancy. She still cannot explain many of the things that happened to her while she was expecting Adam, but by the time he was born, Martha, as she puts it, "had to unlearn virtually everything Harvard taught [her] about what is precious and what is garbage."
Dear Target Guest- I'm deeply honored that Expecting Adam has been chosen as a Target Book Club selection; so much that I'm almost at a loss for words. Almost. Happily, the very thought of the Book Club moves me to spontaneous paeans of praise. I hold as self-evident the truth that there is no day so good or bad that a trip to Target can't make it better. I know Adam agrees with me.I've felt this way since before he was born. I did a lot of retail therapy when Adam was tiny and I was still grieving his diagnosis. After daily grueling hours of speech and occupational therapy, it was important to provide an environment filled with positive sensory stimulation-bright colors, good smells. Target was the perfect place. Sometimes, I even took Adam with me.As he grew and I started writing, Adam and I frequented Target to motivate ourselves. I finished a draft of this book when he was two. No one wanted to publish it. So I rewrote it, and even more people didn't want to publish it. By the time I finally found the editor who championed Expecting Adam (she's still a close friend) Adam was ten years old. We'd taken perhaps 48,645 motivational trips to Target. I was always so glad there were good books for me to chuck into my cart along with the soap and St. John's wort. Occasionally, I'd let myself imagine Expecting Adam on Target shelves, though not seriously. Just wandering and imagining helped.I have no idea what you're doing in Target today-probably shopping for the usual things: fishing line, hair gel, a thong. But maybe you're there because your child just got a terrifying diagnosis, or you're exhausted from balancing family and work, or the memoir you wrote just got its hundredth rejection. If so, this book is here to help. It's here to tell you that no matter what's gone wrong, it can turn out to be a precious gift. No matter how often you've been hurt, you can trust your heart's desires. No matter how many people tell you that your life is a mistake, they're wrong. That's what Adam taught me, and though I'm an imperfect scribe, his lessons are pretty much all here.Adam is twenty-three now. He and I take trips to Target to reward ourselves for a week of work. While he browses DVDs, I wander around trying to remember what was on the list I lost in the car. I usually end up in the book department. In fact, I may be standing next to you right now. I'm the woman with mismatched flip-flops, the dapper son with Down syndrome, and the glazed expression. There's no need to call the authorities; I'm not a danger to myself or others. Just enjoy your shopping and leave me here reading book jackets, soaking up the ambiance, and looking back along the crooked path of my own life, helpless with gratitude. Best wishes
- Religion + Beliefs, Medical, Health + Wellness, Family + Relationships, Biography + Autobiography
- Three Rivers Press
- October 25, 2011
- August 8, 2000