I wanted to create a portrait that would show off his depths, though I myself cannot fully plumb them. But, in the writing things changed. What emerged is a story about me, growing up with my son, discovering parts of myself through him, and entering a world more expansive, unpredictable, grueling, and gorgeous than the one I had once inhabited.
It became a story of motherhood.
So begins Strange Beauty: A Portrait of My Son, a recent book written by Eliza Factor, Crotched Mountain School parent and long-time advocate in the field of disabilities. The book is about her journey with her son, Felix, who attends Crotched Mountain School (and is a frequent star in videos and stories!) and how he impacted her family.
“I wrote the book for people who don’t have children like Felix,” Eliza says. “And what these kids can teach them.”
She is quick to point out that Strange Beauty is 100% a narrative, a recounting of her personal story that is “not meant to be a manual.” Because, as she admits, there is no manual. The terminology of the diagnoses and disabilities are so limiting for peope like Felix–who are so much bigger.
“I got the ‘how do you do it’ question all my life,” she says. “And I tell people, you would do it. You have to. You’re a parent. You cope.”
Eliza will be doing a reading from her book on Saturday, October 7, at 11:00 am at the Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough (directions).
Following the reading, she will take questions for the rest of the hour. Any royalities from the sale of the book will go to disability organizations, including Crotched Mountain.
“So far the reaction to the book has been overwhelmingly positive,” she says. “My enjoyment comes from interacting with people.”
Read a review of Strange Beauty here.
To watch a video segment click here.
And here’s a podcast that focuses on the spirital components of the story.