1. Gina, you’ve written a book entitled “Because I’m Small Now and You Love Me” tell my readers a bit about your book.
With pleasure! Set in Paris, Tuscany and even the good old U-S of A, Because I’m Small Now and You Love Me, chronicles the hilarious adventures in parenting and life overseas between me and my young daughter, Lulu.
It’s for anyone who’s raising a child now, has raised one already, or was just once a child themselves. If you ever believed you could conquer the world with a cardboard sword, this book is for you.
The book can be purchased here: http://sakura-publishing.com/?product=because-im-small-now-and-you-love-me
2. The title is charming and I sense there is a story behind it. Please share.
The book grew around a collection of Lulu quotes that I began compiling when she was just three. Almost all kids say silly things, but as a former journalist, I think I was compulsive about maintaining a journal of my own daughter’s quips!
The book showcases and builds stories around some of the best.
Like, when Lulu earnestly asked me one morning, “Can I wear all your jewelry when I’m bigger and you’re dead?”
Or like her funny, but more than accurate, observations about the country we currently call home including:
“Italy is the place where everyone smokes and parks on the sidewalk.”
And when Lulu announced that she no longer wanted to grow up and become a big girl, my husband and I were perplexed. We asked her why and she uttered the book’s title words, “Because I’m Small Now and You Love Me.” In that phrase, I think, she perfectly expressed the innocence, sweetness and too-fleeting nature of this time in every person’s life.
3. What was your motivation in writing this book?
As a journalist, I wrote thousands of stories for CNN and the other news outlets I had worked for. From hurricanes, to politics, to the tragedy of 9/11. They all had one thing in common: they were other people’s stories.
My husband and I moved to Paris when Lulu was just an infant and to Tuscany when she was three. Our lives were filled with all the normal misadventures of taking care of a child – compounded by the extra nuttiness that comes from doing it internationally with different languages and cultures as the backdrop.
And then when Lulu became a chatty preschooler, adding her non-stop commentary to all the things she saw and experienced in these exotic settings, I realized I had an amazing story unfolding before my very eyes and ears that was closer to me than all the others.
4. You write stories from “that time in her life.” When did you first think of capturing such a precious time?
I realized as my daughter began to express herself in such unique, funny and sometimes brutally honest ways, that “that time in her life” was the most innocent and yet also the most fleeting. These moments slip through our hands unless we do something to help us remember them, hold on to them.
I’ve captured those charming moments now forever in this book.
5. What are your three favorite chapters and what makes them so?
Hmmm. Of course, I love every chapter as each captures a unique moment in parenting by highlighting Lulu’s eccentric behaviors, a cultural tradition new to us as Americans living abroad, or by vividly detailing an event. But I especially enjoy these three:
Chapter Six, “Showdown at Storytime” is the play-by-play of the daily match-up of wits between my four-year-old and me, otherwise known as bedtime. Read how Lulu transforms into a tiny Turkish carpet-dealer and gets the best of me every night.
Chapter Nine, “In Pursuit of Pumpkin Perfection” takes you on a winding tour, first through the bustling streets of Paris and then to our bucolic country home in Tucany – searching for what you might think would be an easy find: a pumpkin ready to be carved into a proper Halloween Jack-o’-lantern. It wasn’t easy to find at all, and neither was negotiating France and Italy’s takes on a largely-American candy-grabbing holiday – and our Italian experience was extremely surprising but, in the end, gratifying!
Chapter Nineteen, “Mark Twain Said it Best” is chock-full of… let’s call them “choice words” from both Lulu and me. The Twain quote I reference in the chapter title alludes to what those words may be by saying, “Let us swear while we may, for in heaven it is not allowed.” Yes, this chapter explores every less-than-saintly parents’ nightmare when their precious angels begin repeating some of the more colorful words they realize they have been saying in front of their children. And now, my daughter Lulu is learning naughty words in Italian as well as English! Whoops!
6. What do you hope the reader will gain from your book?
I truly believe that everyone who reads this book will do so with a smile on their face. Not only do you get to meet one little girl who personifies what joy in life is all about, but the book will inspire you to really listen to the children in your life and remember and reflect about your own experiences during “that time in life.”
7. How, by the way, did you go about selecting the stories and ideas included in your book?
I selected a handful of funny moments and conversations, like picking out favorite colorful pictures from a beloved family vacation photo album to France and Italy.
Our best stories are usually those that begin as simply unfolding moments over time. When you look back upon them, you can better see the patina and warmth surrounding them. Because I’m Small Now and You Love Me is a collection of the small humorous moments with a child that make life so rich in sum.
Cherished memories are what are made while you’re busy just living life.
8. A number of my readers are in the media, so as we conclude this interview – what two things would you want them to know about the uniqueness of your book?
Because I’m Small Now and You Love Me is much more than a humorous memoir. It’s also part travel guide, with vibrant descriptions of Paris and Tuscany. And finally, the book is also largely inspirational – encouraging us all to see the world delightfully fresh through a child’s eyes. Again!
For information about Gina London and her book visit here – www.ginalondon.com