It’s no secret that I love reading and writing. As you may have guessed, this blog is my creative outlet for these passions that I have determined (accurately or not) will unlikely pay my bills and provide health insurance for my family. I am a frustrated author at heart who enjoys wistfully reading stories of similarly situated ladies leaving corporate America to be writers, bloggers, and the like, wishing to join them. I can dream a little dream, no?
In the meantime, I recently discovered a friend of mine, one of your fellow San Antonio moms nonetheless, has done just that! I do recall at a girls’ get together at her home several Christmases ago, Christina made an off-handed remark about writing a children’s book. I chalked it up to the wine as Christina was a successful, “doing it all” working mom and we could all relate to stifling our projects and dreams as part of motherhood.
Alas, fast forward nearly 3 years and Christina Tinker gave birth to twins, finished that children’s book she dreamed of writing, and left her job in corporate America. And she’s working on a sequel to the first book! She’s really doing it, y’all!
So what is this children’s book she wrote? Meet Oscar, the title character in Oscar the Only:
“Oscar explores the challenges and wonders of being an only child. Many children feel like they are the only one… The only one with freckles, the only one with glasses, the only one with dyslexia… The list goes on and on. Walk with Oscar on the journey to discover that which makes your child the only one, makes him an amazing one!!!”
Christina tells me that for many years, she and her husband Jonathan felt their son Alex might be their Only child, part by choice and part by lack of luck. Interestingly, it seemed every friend and family member had an opinion about that topic of being an “only child”…and so the story of Oscar the Only was born.
Christina wrote the first 24 pages of Oscar in a single day while Alex and Jonathan were in the swimming pool. “At the time, it was really meant to be a story I could tell Alex to help him fell less alone as an Only Child… but I knew it wasn’t quite finished, and so it sat in my desk drawer for the next 3 years,” says Christina.
Now turn the page…. It turns out that Alex would not be an Only child after all. Alex became a big brother to twins Andrew and Anastasia just a few months before he turned five. “Oscar the Only is not The Only any longer…”
However, Christina discovered that Oscar’s theme of being unique and having acceptance was helpful in all situations, with all children. As Alex entered kindergarten the fall just after the babies were born, Alex’s classmates proved for Christina that every child feels like the Only One sometimes. As moms, we all compare struggles and challenges our little ones are facing at school, with friends, and in activities. Your little one might be the only one with glasses; the only one with freckles and red hair; the only one who has trouble with words; the only one with two daddies; or the only one who was adopted from a country different than their parents.
And these were all things to which Oscar could relate. The story of Oscar and the Not So Lonely Ones is about finding compassion and acceptance in one another.
I’m both jealous and proud that my friend truly found her voice through writing children’s stories. Christina left a successful career in a successful industry and admits it was one of the hardest (and some say craziest) things she ever done. The reward is she has been invited into many Texas classrooms and welcomes the opportunity to visit more! Christina says, “I have been blessed to learn that my voice is needed and wanted.” She is currently writing the second book in the Oscar series….Oscar only Eats Oreos, which is a story about the Not so Lonely Only Ones discovering the joys of eating a fun, diverse, healthful and moderate diet.
Just as Christina hopes that Oscar’s story will inspire your little one, I hope that Christina’s story and accomplishments will inspire you mamas to keep dreaming big and to remember that your voice, your needs, and your talents are important, too!