Friday, October 20, 2006

That was fun!

OK, Mrs. Griffin really played up that a "real" author came in to talk with the kids. It didn't hurt that they were expecting to have a test, and instead they got to sit and ask me questions about writing my book. And the fact they know my daughter seemed to be a bonus. Some combination of these factors made the fifth graders at Windemere Park excited to have me as a guest in their classroom yesterday.

I sat in a chair and the kids gathered around me on the floor. They asked me questions which they'd written the day before: What made me decide to write a book? How did I come up with the beginning and the end? Did I use a computer, or paper and pencil? Do I want to write another one? What was it like working with an editor?... And I read a passage or two from my book. One of the classes even talked me in to singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to them. (You'll have to read Confessions of an Irritable Mother to understand the significance of that song.) At the end of each class, I gave the kids bookmarks I'd brought along. That's when the fun really began...

They took their bookmarks and lined up for my autograph. It was so cute! One little girl told me she was moving to a new school, so I wrote, "I hope you love your new school." The next little girl asked me to write a note to her, too. So I looked at her and wrote, "You have beautiful eyes." That delighted her! Several of them asked me to sign "To" them. A couple of boys just asked if they could shake my hand, and when I shook their hands they got big smiles and skipped away. These interactions were all sweet. But the thing that warmed my heart the most wasn't their response to me; it was their thoughts for their own moms.

Several of the kids were asking me how they could get a copy of the book. They said they wanted to give it to their mom. Sometimes it was in response to moms being irritable. But more often I sensed these kids really loved their mom and wanted to get her the book because they thought it would be helpful to her. So often, we think ten and eleven year old kids are pretty much only thinking about themselves (and sometimes that's true!), but these kids seemed to really love their moms and I loved seeing it. I hope somehow one of my books finds its way into the hands of these mothers, bringing them hope in their irritable moments.

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