The idea for this book was nearly instantaneous. A stingray was born and she went the opposite direction of every other ray in the bay. She bumped heads with them all yet still kept going.
On a personal level I related to this behavior, seems I’ve been butting heads with most my entire life. This quality isn’t good for a stingray that needs to survive in the wild, nor is it good for a little girl growing up determined to make her own mistakes and rarely listening to those who were brave enough to tell her what she should do. However, so far we’ve both survived with different sorts of scars. Of course Edie eventually straightened herself out …. I never did.
It’s a difficult task to explain to children that being different and/or having an opinion that doesn’t coincide with those around you is perfectly acceptable, I think now more than ever. We purport to celebrate individuality but then deny those that have an opinion that differs from our own common respect. So how do you actually make it in a world with such extreme dichotomies?
You forge ahead, make mistakes, pick yourself up after failure, realize that people will be hurtful, and understand that you will have a few good friends who celebrate what you are. Those are generally the people who have also gone their own way, or the ones that will live vicariously through you encouraging your every triumph and mourning each failure right alongside you.
It’s my hope that this book, about a little ray with the courage to go her own way, will be helpful teaching children that they will be alright even when they don’t conform.