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Book explores space between disability, identity
The feeling I used to have, that they loved me and they still weren’t nicer about this, is actually the way it works. That’s the structure of it, and I wished there had been someone at the time to say to me _ I mean I knew it at some level _ of course they love you and they can’t yet accept this because it’s new to them, and you have to help them get to the point of acceptance, and once you do the depth of their love will be more obvious.
AP: This book was a journey to parenthood for you. How did this project lead you to embrace the role?
Solomon: A lot of people have said to me, surely writing a book about all of the things that can go horribly wrong in parenting would have been enough to put anyone off the idea of becoming a parent. And I said actually, what I think the book is really about is the fact that people do manage to love the children they have, whoever those children are, and it made me think, gee, if I have a child who presents some challenges, or I can say now when my children grow up some challenges, whatever they are, I think I’ll be better equipped to respond to those challenges in a positive and constructive way and I’ll be more certain that those challenges aren’t going to undermine feelings of love. So it made me feel more confident in the extraordinary and embracing quality of parental love.
AP: You interviewed the Klebolds. This was a rare interview for them. How do you think the experience of telling their story has changed them?
Solomon: It was clear soon after we met a) that they were good and decent people, which is what I had already gathered, and I think they were full of this story which for so long they had been unable to tell and this was the chance for some voice to be given to it. I really do like them. I think of them as friends.
In the period immediately after the massacre, there was this endless press which said those parents should have known and those parents should have been able to control the situation. It was all those parents, those parents, those parents. I hope that they will have the feeling now that we’re on the far side of the process that in telling their story to me, there’s a public declaration that they actually are good people and it wasn’t their fault, and I think it makes it easier to live in the world if you don’t think that all the people who don’t know you think you’re awful.
Follow Leanne Italie on Twitter at http://twitter.com/litalie
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