Today marks Day 6 of the Kickstarter campaign for As Real As It Gets, a picture book about how an adoptive family handles the words, “You’re not my real mother,” with love, humor, and a T Rex. If you haven’t done so already, I’ll give you a moment to head over and check it out and, hopefully, contribute.
Do you feel like you need to see more? Okay. Here’s a sneak peek of a drawing that Joel Schoon-Tanis did in preparation for a painting.
The little boy has just yelled, “You’re not my real mother.”
Everything stretches and slows down like I fell in a black hole.
This is the brilliance of Joel. The monster is clearly saying, “Whatcha gonna do about that?” It thinks it has won. The boy is dizzy and overwhelmed.
To me, this drawing encapsulates our goals with this project: reflect a child’s perspective with frankness, but also humor and care.
And the mother is unfazed. This is when she delivers her line, but she doesn’t always say it the same way.
The monster always thinks this will be the time it shocks my mother, but she always says the same thing.
Sometimes she yells it in her “Go to your room!” voice.
“I’m as real as it gets and I’m not giving up. I’m your mother in truth. Your mother. Forever.”
What are some other tones of voice a mother might use when saying these words for, say, the twentieth time?
In all seriousness, please support As Real As It Gets, either with a pledge or by sending the link to someone you know who might like it. Not just for the kids who will be able to see themselves in a story (maybe even your own kids or grandkids), but, honestly and vulnerably, also for me — due to some major life setbacks, this has become needed income.