Over the weekend, I gave my keynote speech at a conference on mothers and sons. Phew! And that "phew" refers to two things - one, it seemed to be very well received and two, it's over.
Public speaking is not my thing, but I had worked really hard on the talk and practiced a lot. And I had a really nice audience. They were almost all mothers of sons who had an interest in the topic, and they seemed like a particularly warm, welcoming group. There was one woman in particular who kept nodding enthusiastically at a lot of points, and I kept my eyes on her a lot.
The Q and A that followed was interesting and helpful too, because some of what was asked definitely pointed to areas that need to be addressed in the book.
After the talk, I led two workshops - billed as a continued conversation on the themes of the book. Here, women really opened up about their own lives. It was great - young moms who were worried that they would one day lose their sons for ever, single moms who were on the receiving end of critiques for being "too close" to their boys, gay moms who struggled over issues of masculinity, and moms of grown sons who expressed a great deal of sadness and regret that they hadn't nurtured closer bonds and had listened to some of those around them telling them to push their sons away.
Over all, it was a good experience, and certainly confirmed that this is a subject that mothers are longing to talk about.
Afterwards, I changed out of my jacket and high heels and into my jeans and clogs, and climbed into the passenger seat of the car. The Weatherman drove us home from Maine to New York and I slept on and off the whole way home, happy, relieved, and wiped out.