One Change I Would Make to A Good and Perfect Gift (plus an interview and a giveaway)

Meriah Nichols, who blogs at With a Little Moxie, recently posted a joint interview with George Estreich, author of The Shape of the Eye, and yours truly. She asked us both ten questions, including whether we would change anything about our books if we could. I answered:

There’s one passage that I often read when I’m talking about the book in public.It happens when Penny was five months old and some high school students come to our house and say, “You have the perfect life.” From there, I go on to think about the meaning of perfection, the ways in which our life doesn’t conform to cultural standards of perfection, and what it might mean to think about perfection differently. In retrospect, I wish I had written that passage with a little more clarity.

One of my struggles since I was a little girl has been perfectionism, which I now see as the attempt to pretend to be perfect. Every perfectionist knows that perfection (by any measure) isn’t possible, but the pretense of it is. A child with Down syndrome can’t pretend to be perfect. Penny’s presence in my life knocked the perfectionism out of me, which was incredibly jarring at first, but also incredibly freeing over time. If I were writing it over, I’d edit that one section
to be a little more clear about this perfection stuff.

Click here to read more of the interview, and leave a comment on Meriah’s blog to enter into a drawing for a free signed copy of A Good and Perfect Gift (she’s giving away three in total). All comments must be received by June 30th. This is also the final week to purchase A Good and Perfect Gift for $2.99 on Kindle (or Nook or any other e-reader).

About Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes and speaks about family, faith, disability, and culture. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House), and Why I Am Both Spiritual and Religious (Patheos Press).


  1. But isn’t it kind of perfect that the passage on perfectionism is itself imperfect? :)

  2. Amy, I hadn’t thought of that:) Fabulous. Thank you!

  3. Barbara @therextras says:

    I once named myself a perfectionist in recovery. When someone laughs at that, I know they understand. I’m sure you would.

  4. I too, have wrestled with perfectionism. I think this addresses some of my most deepest battles in mothering my daughter. How the blogs and families I know with little ones with down syndrome seem so typical/normal/perfect. Since our daughter didn’t have the same start to life she is about 4.5 years behind even the little ones with down syndrome.

  5. Don’t perfectionists really only fool themselves? They might think they project a perfect life and have everyone else fooled (“I know I’m not perfect, but there’s no reason to let anyone else see that”), but those around them certainly know different.
    As someone who doesn’t necessarily enjoy my own imperfections, let alone those of others*, I am constantly living in tension between Romans 3:23 and 8:1.
    *That sounds pretty harsh, doesn’t it? See, there go my imperfections again.

  6. Great distinction!! I needed that today!!