(No, not the morphine pump after my c-sections.)
I am home after a busy morning, full of adrenaline and excitement. My heart rate is still elevated; I am skipping my workout today.
My boys got to meet one of their true childhood heroes today. Author of the Wimpy Kid series Jeff Kinney made a stop this morning in my town, at what has to be the smallest bookstore on his tour.
When I found out about it on Facebook, I was super excited. Unfortunately, it was not well-publicized, so I didn't know if it really was happening or not, but my source was one in the schools, so I was fairly confident it was accurate. I spread the word on my own Facebook page, and got my friend Christina excited about it, too.
(I also said I was a bad mom for taking my boys out of school to meet Jeff Kinney, to which my teacher friend Michele said something like, "You are NOT a bad mom. Any author that can get boys 8-12 to pick up a book is awesome and that would be educational." Thanks, Michele.)
I was excited at first because, well, this town has nothing going on like this. Pretty much ever. A well-known author, doing a book signing, three blocks from my house, on the day his new book comes out? Un-freaking-hear of.
But I know my excitement runs deeper than just that. I am a writer. I am a book geek. I am an author groupie. The 1998 opening of the Borders in Davenport, IA directly corresponds to the closing of my MasterCard account. I have more autographs of poets and writers than I do of minor celebrities and sports stars.
I had always hoped my kids would pick up my love of books. Back when Larry Potter started school and tested off the charts for reading, we couldn't get him to read for fun. And one day, he picked up a Wimpy Kid book. The rest is history. LP has a love of reading now that was planted by Mr. Kinney.
So, imagine my surprise earlier this year, when I found Hoover, three years younger than LP, reading a Wimpy Kid book in his bed in the middle of the afternoon. (Because it's Hoover, when I couldn't find him or hear him, I went looking. I didn't see any small fires or parts of the house taken apart, which made me more surprised when I found him reading.) This is the kid we thought would never read for school, let alone fun. This is the kid we were worried about and have taken to doctors and specialists and had extensive school testing on.
I have two boys that read. I have two boys that love to read. And try as I may to take credit for the environment in which they've been raised, I know it's not my doing.
We got to the bookstore at 8:30 this morning for the 9 a.m. book signing. We were the third group there, and when Christina and her kids arrived, there were maybe a dozen of us total. Mr. Kinney's bus pulled up and Hoover almost wet his pants. Mr. Kinney came out and talked with us for a minute, and I had to keep Hoover from shoving his book at him right then and there. He was bouncing like Tigger.
|The bus. Someday, I would like a Snarky Mom bus. Someone get on that.|
Once inside, we bought our books first, then stood in line to meet the author. LP and I were excited; Hoover was ecstatic. His enthusiasm was infectious. He just kept bouncing, saying, "I can't believe we're going to meet him! I can't believe we're going to meet him!"
When it was our turn, we had our copy of the new book signed, and then each boy brought one of their books from home. Hoover went first. After seeing Mr. Kinney draw Greg in the book for the boys to share, Hoover (bouncing and shouting) said, "Draw his whole body!" To which Mr. Kinney laughed and happily obliged. When he signed LP's book, he drew Manny, and Hoover then inched closer to him, shouting, "Draw Manny in mine, too!" I tried to quiet him and tell him there was a line, but Mr. Kinney and his crew smiled and told me it was okay. The smile on my son's face was priceless. I told Mr. Kinney that Hoover was going to be his new manager, because he was so good at ordering him around.
|Hoover commissioning artwork from Jeff Kinney.|
When we were done (after having five books signed...the boys' other books, plus the new one, plus one for their school and one for Michele), we walked back to the car with Hoover leading the parade.
"We met Jeff Kinney! We met Jeff Kinney!"
I'm not sure how he's going to get any work done today. Or ever again.
Thanks Jeff Kinney, for your books, for your coming to our little town, and for the smiles I saw today. I was proud to have been there to witness my boys meeting their hero. You have cemented two life-long readers, and had a huge hand in making at least two new book geeks for the next generation.
And made their book-loving mama extremely proud, too.
|My boys and their hero.|