Thursday, May 24, 2018

Once there was a Young Author...

And the story goes....
It was your typical Thursday of waking kids up, breakfasts, packing lunches, and sending them off on the big yellow machine that swallows them up every morning.  But then, after the morning sendoffs were completed, I pulled out my cape.  Time to pull out the super mom powers.

See, it was an evening that Hope had been looking forward to for weeks.  She and 20 of her best buddies had spent countless hours creating, writing and illustrating their young authors books.  This evening they would get to use a microphone, sit in the big chair, and read their works of art to an audience of friends and family.  Oh to be famous for a night!!!

I knew this was a big deal to Hope.  I also knew her dad was in Washington DC with a plane arriving in Indy at 5:10.  I also knew the program started at 5:30.  But no worries, I had thought ahead and conversed with the teacher allowing Hope to be the last in her group.  A bit bummed to be last, I reminded Hope "you always save the best for last!"

Still knowing this was a big deal to Hope, I also knew she had dedicated this book to her big sister of which she adores.  I also knew this big sister had a dance practice she couldn't miss because of showcase coming up.  So to soften the blow when Hope found out Emma wasn't going to be there, I decided to buy cake.  Yep, cake.  So during the day, after a doctor's appointment and an emergency trip to the grocery, I bought a special cake.  You know, the special kind that looks so pretty you don't want to eat it...the kind behind the glass that looks like a profession on a TV show made it....ya, that kind of cake.

Did I mention emergency trip to the grocery?  Ya, about that.  See knowing the disappointment of sister being gone, and a chance dad could miss, I still wanted to make this a big deal for Hope.  After all, she's forever been the little sister being drug around for the past 7 years to her sister's big-deal-events.  So I decided to make her favorite supper for her; meatloaf, roasted cauliflower and watermelon.  With no watermelon or cauliflower on hand, I zoomed through grocery and headed home to prep everything.  After all, with a 5:30 performance, we needed to eat supper around 4:15ish.

Grandma and Grandpa were on their way.  They were traveling from afar to come to supper and hear this Young Author in her big debut.  All is well there, right?  Right.  (hmmmm, stay tuned).
Knowing Emma's dance class was on the opposite side of town and starting at 5:15, I had to do some fancy planning for her on a ride there while reminding her to take homework to work on afterwards when we were late picking her up.  All is well there, right?  Wrong.  Two second before getting on the bus she realized she had Art Club and would be staying after school, not coming home.  -sigh- Ok, new plans.  I'll have to get supper ready for Grandma, Grandpa and Hope...I'll skip out while they eat to go get Emma at the Middle school, then run her to the dance studio which is 15 minutes in the opposite direction, hurry back home just in time to pull in, throw the grands and Hope in the car, and drive the other direction to the big event.  I can do this.

So game time.  Supper cooking, Hope gets home, food on the table, Grandma is there but Grandpa is missing.  Where's Grandpa.  A now worried Hope knew he was coming, so I comforted her that he still had thirty minutes and it would be ok.  As soon as I mentioned  I needed to go pick Emma up from Art Club and take her to dance, a sad Hope looked at me and said "she's not coming?"  My heart sank. I comforted Hope letting her know sometimes plans get altered, but the good news was, when everyone got home that evening we would have our own special reading of her book just for Emma...and with CAKE!  Her sadness drifted at the smell of meatloaf.  Mine too.

So I'm off to the middle school.  Watching the clock, counting every minute.  I pull into the parking lot and it hit me like a ton of bricks - there is no dance bag in the car.  That means no leotard, tights or shoes....and home is in the wrong direction.  Looking at the clock, I text my neighbor and see if they can stop by the house and grab it as they take their dancer to the studio.  As I'm waiting on a response, Emma enters the car not happy to hear about the missing bag - there is something about a 12 year not being able to be flexible for just one day.  But thank you Jesus, my neighbor text back and they weren't leaving for another ten minutes - SCORE!- just enough time for me to Emma back home and she can just ride with them. (Oh and if you think I forgot all about Emma eating supper, may I mention I stuffed her backpack that morning with extra protein bars and trail mix - always thinking, this momma. HA!)

Race home....but not too quickly.  I had to give Emma a little mom-to-daughter-speech on the way.  I explained to her Hope's sadness of her not being there.  So when she walked in (previous plan had just me walking in) Hope might stir up some excitement thinking she was coming for a surprise.  Soooo....let's prep for that.  And we did.  A good, yet brief, conversation on family, priorities, and compassion.  And Emma did great when she got home, giving her little sister all the love.  But where was Grandpa?

Still no grandpa, I begin texting.  A worry in itself to text Grandpa, knowing he's driving.  yikes.  But I did, and he responded with "be there in five."  Ok, we need to leave in five, so lets not let Hope know that and just keep all calm.  Oh by the way, did I mention I just got a text from Adam saying his flight was delayed thirty minutes???  -deeper sigh-

On with the show! Grandma, check - Grandpa, check - Hope, check - Emma with neighbors, check.  Me?  Me with enough battery on my phone to video, check.  All in the car, check.  And off we go, 15 minutes the other direction.  I think my car is more confused than I am at times about which way it's going!

Once we arrive Hope is flooded with friends as she walks in.  That girl.  She is the life of the party.  xoxo.  The kids take their seats on the bench in the front and parents sat in chairs behind them.
5:30 and the show is starting.  Hope looks over her shoulder at me with a worried face and mouths "where's dad?"  "He's on his way," I mouth back, knowing that the plane is still in the air.

We listen to these little first grade voices read their stories one after another.  Such sweet moments of brave young authors, feet not even touching the ground in the captain's chair.  Little hands, one holding a microphone and the other turning pages of their books that they put every inch of soul into making.  They giggle and laugh at themselves, they fumble to turn the book around for the audience to see their masterpieces full of illustrations.  Adorable.  Some of these kids were totally in their element...and some not so much. ;)

Number 5 was up.  I get another worried look from Hope.  Reading her eyes, I mouth back "it's OK, he's on his way."  Which he was because I got a text saying the plane had landed and he was coming!
Child Number 6...7...8....and oh no, #9 is sick, she's not here.  Hope is #10.
She takes a look around, but no worries, I give her the thumbs up and mouth "I'm videoing!"
And. She. Rocked. It.

A creative story about a little girl that took tap.  The story shares her adventures telling her friends about it, being nervous and not getting it the first day, but keep trying and eventually does it with ease.  There is some "my mom said" moments in the book, that always makes me hold my breath for a second until I hear the end of the sentence.  And there was a little brother in the book, which afterwards Hope told me that her book was fiction.  Good to know.

She did it.  So proud of her.  xoxo
Her and her buddies all line up for a class photo.  Beautiful!
 Within 10 minutes of the class photo, a rushing dad pushing his way through the crowd to find his young author.  In a millisecond moment of let down, there was nothing that the word 'cake' wouldn't fix!  But before heading home for that special second reading with cake, a few pictures with our special guest Grandma and Grandpa....and of course with Daddy - but that one got to be taken in the special captain's chair.

We head home (well, one car car went past home onto dance studio to pick up Emma) and when all arrive, the cake was cut and we heard the extra special reading of Hope's book just for her favorite fans.  Still reading as if she was famous, which I totally agree she is, her voice and words did not disappoint.  Watch out world, we have a Young Author on our hands.

What a day.  What an adventure.  But we did it.
Hope, love you to the moon and back.  I hope your day was extra special.  You lite me up when I see your excitement for people and life.  So glad God chose me to be your mom. xoxo  

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