So yesterday my children came home from school clamoring for attention and the chance to tell me all about what had happened that day.
A famous author had come to their school, they got to meet him, and he talked all about his books and told them he was going to be at Barnes and Noble that night and could we please go? Please please please please please???????
The author was Obert Skye, writer of the Leven Thumps series. B readily agreed to take the boys to B&N that night to get our copy of "Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo" autographed. I was worried about going, worried about exposing my children to someone "famous", worried about them feeling let down when they realize that famous people usually aren't that nice in real life, but we went anyway.
B&N had it together, I was very impressed. We got a wrist band as we walked in the door and were told that we could wander around and shop or participate in the activities they had planned for the event and they would call us up in groups of ten to have our books signed and meet the author. The boys got their faces painted then we headed over to another corner where they could throw a soft rubber frisbee thing through a hole in a large poster and win a "Foo Flyer" (A rubber frisbee). We stood in line behind the most fabulous ladies, they made the whole experience so fun for us and I am so glad for the chance we had to meet them. They were all dressed like characters from the book and their enthusiasm and excitement were contagious. One was dressed as Clover, one as Winter and one as Leven him (Her) self.
When it was our turn to throw, all three ladies in front of us missed...again, they had already been through the line several times waiting for a chance to win. All three boys also missed and rushed back with the ladies to get in line again, no one stuck around to see me toss the frisbee through the hole. Poor "Winter", she was so envious of my cool rubber frisbee! We all went through the line again and once more, Winter and her companions missed, once again the boys missed, and once again, I got the frisbee through the hole (I KNOW! I was shocked too!).
The announcement came over the intercom for our number group to get in line for our turn with the author and it turned out that Winter and company close to us in line. I talked K into giving our second "Foo Flyer" to Winter, who wanted one so badly. After all, we had two, and she had none. He agreed that that was a good idea and gave the Frisbee to our new friend, she was so excited.
Later that night our neat friend won one of the prizes in the costume contest. She received a totebag containing a t-shirt and a key, a very special key, I was so envious because it is a NEAT key. If you have read book two, you know the key unlocks a secret. She already had a key, she had been given one by the author a few years ago when he came to speak at her school.
As we met Obert Skye, all my fears were laid to rest. He was not at all what I feared he would be. He was very nice, very personable. He seemed genuinely pleased by K's adoration and praise, he shook K's hand and signed everything put in front of him without complaint. He also gave me two posters, signed, to hang in our library at school, what a fun surprise! He was so nice and friendly, not at all snobby, condescending, or standoffish and many celebreties are. It was a genuine pleasure to meet him.
As we were leaving, we once again bumped into our friends Winter and company (Did I mention Winter is also an Elementary school teacher?) and the most unexpected thing happened. She gave her second key to our family. What a generous gift. My children were over the moon, it was the best thing that had ever happened to them and they were all arguing over who got to take it to school and show it to their class the next day.
They all three showed the key around their classes today and shared their experience at the book signing last night. It was such a wonderful experience.
Sincere thanks to our friends "The Characters" for their generous gift, you have no idea what it means to our family. We are truly grateful and it was such a great object lesson to our children about the value of sharing what they have with others. I told them that it was their generous hearts being willing to share their bounty (AKA the extra Foo Flyer) with others that had allowed them to be the recpients of the special key, something that very few people have, so it is even more special. That because they were generous, she was generous in return. They made her happy and she in return gifted us with a key and something much more precious to us, the meories of the fun we had, that were ten times greater because she and her children were there and shared their enthusiasm and joy with us. Thank you.