Thursday, October 10, 2013

How Crittle Got Her Book Back

When I was child, I did a lot of things I wasn't supposed to do. I figure that's part of the reason I'm so anxious about being a mother now. Is it all really going to come back to me…and then some?

Playette goes to bed with ease, but she's typically up before the sun. As long as she's quiet, we let her be. Usually though, she likes to wake the whole house up with her singing, dancing, readin, or whatever it is she happens to feel like doing pre-dawn. This gets her into trouble some mornings.

But today was one of the quiet times. I knew she was safe, so I stayed in bed and tried to get a couple of extra minutes of rest.

When I did end up going to her room, she was there with my book. I noticed it because it stood out since it was a few hundred pages thick, bright yellow, and amongst a sea of books for new readers.

No harm, no foul. I picked it up, put the cover back on, and had to laugh when I noticed a slip of paper had fallen out.

A few weeks ago, all of us went to the National Book Festival. While there, I purchased a book for the author, Terry McMillan, to sign. BD and Dez waited in line while Playette and I went to the tent to buy the book. There were only pre-autographed versions available, so that's what we got.

When we returned, BD informed me that I had missed hearing the list of rules. He said the only people with pre-autographed books would be able to request a unique inscription.

Oh, lucky day! Me being who I am, I tried to come up with something creative, something witty, something unique.

And then it came to me: "Freak is not a bad word."

That's a line from one of my favorite scenes in Waiting to Exhale, based on Ms. McMillan's book of the same name. It's totally obscure, but cracks me up. What makes it even better is that the little girl who says it in the movie just happens to be BD's cousin. "Perfect!" I thought. Then I moved on to thinking of things I would say during my short introduction to Ms. McMillan. I grew up borrowing my mother's books that she had written and sharing them with my friends and getting in trouble when they came back in tatters. So really, she played a memorable role in my adolescence. I could say that and I wouldn't be just another cliché-filled author-meeter.

I had a plan.

But what I didn't consider that my daughter would steal the show. 

I should've known better. 

Playette stayed next to me as we approached the table. I handed Ms. McMillan the book, she confirmed the odd spelling of my name, and then the two of them proceeded to have a dialogue while I stood there looking goofy.

No, wait. She also gave me a serious side-eye after she read my post-it note on which was what I had previously believed to be a fantastic inscription idea. All of the sudden, I felt like a doof and I started to blush.

All in all, it was fun to watch them engage. I felt so happy that my daughter could have these types of experiences. I'm thrilled when other people see the wonderful in her. 

It took me about a week to work up the nerve to check what she wrote in the book. It was absolutely not what I had suggested. Ha! It was perfectly respectable and generic. No problem. The line was super long and at least she didn't call me out for being a doof.

Totally random story, i know, but we had a really good day that day and I'm glad that the book reminded me of that moment in time and of the relationship Ishared  with my own mother. I miss her. She would have loved this girl of ours.


Becca said...

Aw, what a sweet story!! I went to the book festival several years ago with Samantha, but she was just a baby then. Maybe we'll do it again next fall. :-)

krlr said...

A/ Very cool outing.
B/ I think there's some tie in to my comment 1 min prior in which people freeze up around the FAAMMOUSS. But I won't say anything.

JB said...

a) Yay for 31 for 21. I missed reading your updates.
b) Beyond jealous you all went to the Book Fair. It's a mile from my house in America. (I live in Switzerland now.)
c) BD must love you for standing in that line. The author lines are crazy.
d) Did I mention I'm so happy you're posting again? You all were missed!