Friday morning, I woke up thinking it was any other day. I had playgroup on the calendar, but other than that, nothing going on.
Then, an email from Ready for Hillary! landed in my inbox, announcing that the bus tour would be outside of BookPeople during her book signing this afternoon to show support. Say what? I knew she would be speaking at the Long Center this month, but had no idea she was going to be doing a book signing.
If you've been reading for a while, or even if you have heard a single word that's ever come out of my mouth, you know I'm a die hard democrat. A liberal, even, if you will. I lean to the left of the left. And I am a BIG Hillary fan. My daughter, even before today, knew her name and had a four-year-old understanding of the reverence with which we speak it. So naturally, I ventured over to see the book signing details and, by some miracle, there was a slight note that there were a itty bitty number of tickets left in store. Friends, I'm pretty sure I've never gotten myself from the couch to the car in such a quick amount of time. Thankfully I was already showered and all that jazz, so we all threw on some clothes, threw some snacks in the diaper bag, and went running out the door to snag one of those tickets!
I was so nervous the entire drive that they would sell out, especially as I parked and watched multiple other people heading in with the same fervor that I was, but again, by some miracle, we got a ticket!
Kiddos under ten were allowed without, two per adult, so one ticket for the cost of a copy of her book later, and we had a few hours to kill until we needed to be back. The book signing was to take place at 3pm, though I knew I wanted to be back around 2 to get in line. Luckily, after a trip to the park, ride on the train, snow cone and lunch at the Whole Foods playscape (I figured I needed to load up on my bribes for later...), we made it back around 1 instead, and headed to the car to drop our belongings and get in line. I say luckily because we ended up about 200+ deep in line, with people already queued up around noon when we got back for lunch. What?! Add to that the 95 degree heat and bajillion percent humidity, and I was starting to panic.
Just then, an angel appeared...ok, so just a BookPeople employee, but seriously, I may have pledged my love and devotion to him when he said, "Come with me! I'm taking you inside to go in with the first group because of the baby."
I'm not sure how long I stood there with my jaw hanging open, but next thing I knew we were being whisked to the front of the line and into the air conditioning (hallelujah!) into the "special needs" area, where another mother with a toddler and multiple other differently-abled individuals and those with medical issues were waiting to be the first in the room to meet Hillary!
There were so many things that could have stressed me out. Ava could've needed to go potty suddenly, Jack could've screamed the entire time, I could've thought that taking two children to go wait for hours in the heat with nothing to do was insane and just gone home, which I considered briefly when faced with the line. But somehow, some way, none of those things happened. Instead, the kindness of strangers and Texans came into play multiple times, from the way BookPeople treated us and handled not making us wait in the heat with the baby, to the others in the room who took turns talking to Ava and playing games with her while we waited for over an hour for Hillary's people to clear the room and prep everything and the dogs to come in and do their sniff search and so on. My kids? They were amazingly behaved. Jack slept in my arms for half an hour, and a kind woman next to me played "I spy" with her when she got restless. It was a really, really great day, and that was before Hillary even came in.
Then, finally at 3, she walked into the room, and the air itself seemed to change in her presence. The crowd broke out in applause and whoops of support, and Hillary was more gracious and lovely than I could've imagined. She shook my daughter's hand and asked her name and how old she was, then turned her sights on me and Jackson, asking how old he was and making us feel like we were the only people in the room. Ava may have handled herself better than I did here, speaking clearly and confidently, whereas I was overwhelmed by her very presence and was like, "Huh? Who? Me?", at least mentally.
Here's sweet Ava proudly caring for our new signed book:
In case I wasn't sailing high enough off of that exchange, I received a text from a friend a couple hours later that said, "Just saw you with Hillary on the CBS News. You're so famous!"
Having stepped out to run an errand, I called my husband to tell him to turn on CBS, and turned to Facebook to locate the video, if possible. Within minutes, I had it sent to me, and with one last miracle of the day, got to watch myself walk across the screen with my two children, and her shake both of our hands. We weren't allowed photos in the room due to time constraints, so naturally I took screen shots of the video. How. Amazing.