I was asked to speak to my son’s preschool class for their author-of-the-month series. Charlie wanted me to bring my giant poster of the book cover that I use for events.
When I first had the poster made, I was telling my illustrator, Heather Hopp-Bruce about it and instead of just sending her a picture, I thought it would be funny to send a photo-bombed picture.
Here’s me doing that…but the picture took before I came out on the other side.
(That’s my hand top center – this was clearly a graceful swan dive blocked by a giant book poster.)
Okay, moving on. As we were getting into the car in the garage to drive to school, the snow started coming down in little round pellets. “Is this the stuff for Dipp’n Dots?” Charlie (5) asked.
Snow is rare in Knoxville. But Dipp’n Dots are always top of mind.
Charlie helped me put the poster in a large black bag to shield it from the weather and off we went.
We arrived at school and were in the parking lot. I turned around and asked Charlie if he would carry his lunch and the copy of my book we were taking into school to show his classmates. He dramatically shoved it inside his coat, raised his eyebrows and nodded a little bit, like I am going to protect it from the snow by carrying it inside my jacket, Mom!
I got the poster out of his sister’s seat and was walking around to his side of the car when I saw him fall. He went down like a tree in the woods. He went from a standing position in the car doorway to face down on the pavement in front of me and started crying. I let out a dainty pterodactyl-like scream as I scurried over to help. Poor kiddo, I know THAT hurt!
I was trying to pick him up and we were being pelted with snow. Two sweet parents came over to help us (Thank you, sweet parents! I hope I said thank you!). I got him in the car (MAN, is he heavy now!) and held him while he cried.
Ohx! I felt so badly about the fall, because he was holding the book inside his jacket and didn’t have full use of his hands when he slipped. Thank goodness he wasn’t seriously hurt, but he was (understandably) upset. And we were almost late, so I had to coax him into going inside the school with me.
We go in, and he goes over to the sink to wash his hands. I went over and hugged him, but one look at his face had me quietly stepping away. His hands weren’t dirty. I realized he was doing that to stall so he could calm down before he joined his preschool friends on the carpet.
Since loving on him in that moment might thwart his efforts, I stood back and did my best to send him love from across the room. It was like a Care Bear Stare! Anyone remember that?
He finished up and went to sit on the carpet.
His teacher introduced me, and I sat down and talked with the kids about the book. Scanning the little faces I stopped and smiled at Charlie, who smiled back at me with pride. And little red upset eyes.
I thought my heart was going to burst.