Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Gift in a Moment

Last Thursday I had one of the greatest moments of my life. Not that it compares with the births of my children, my marriage, or speaking at my mother’s funeral. But it was one of those rare moments where I felt utterly fulfilled and joyous as a human being. And this is what happened:

I was standing inside an elementary school where I had just given a full day of presentations, and had a wonderful meal with eight students who had been selected for the privilege of having “lunch with an author.” It’s almost surreal being honored in this way; I actually felt like somebody besides a frantic, scatterbrained wife and mom--like I might even be somebody special to some kids besides my own. I had packed up my rhythm instruments and was saying goodbye to the school administrators who had been so very kind to me. Suddenly I looked across to the end of the hallway from where I was standing, and saw a father who had bought one of my books, sitting in a chair against the wall. He had BEDTIME AT THE SWAMP resting open on his lap, and he was reading aloud to his young son, who was probably five or six. As the father got to the book’s refrain, he said, “Splish splash rumba rumba bim bam…” and then the little boy hopped up in the air on all fours, like he was playing leapfrog, and shouted, “BOOM!” with a loud giggle. Then the father repeated the game, to get another “BOOM!” from his son, and another giggle. The father kept reading.

I stood there, frozen, and felt rapture. I got to watch a father and son enjoying my book together, from the position of a fly on the wall. They didn’t know I could see them. Whatever I had dreamed of as a little girl who wanted to make picture books couldn’t have topped this. After all my struggles in life, this moment was a gift. It was a blessing for which I will forever be grateful.

5 comments:

Janelle said...

That's awesome Kris! Just this weekend I was in Houston attending Time Out For Women and we stopped in at Barnes and Noble. As is my tradition, I immediately headed for the picture book section to see if they had any of your books on the shelf. They didn't. My sister-in-law went to the help desk and inquired and they said they were sold out of Bedtime at the Swamp. I thought that was pretty awesome that Barnes and Noble in Houston was sold out of your book! I'm sure there are many other mothers and/or fathers out there reading your book to their children. I can't imagine how amazing that must feel! Congrats, sis. You deserve it!

Missy said...

Awesome Story Kristyn.

Rowena Montojo-Weiss said...

Dear Kris,

I feel like I know you from reading "Bedtime at the Swamp" over and over again to my 3 year old daughter. I really feel like it was Destiny for me to find your book at the Library. I am very interested in publishing children's book myself but I just don't know where to begin. I was telling my husband that I don't know an illustrator. We went to the library the day after and my daughter picked your book. As soon as we got home, she insisted on reading the book. To my surprise, the illustrator is a familiar name. Macky Pamimtuan. I went to elementary school with him. I tracked hime down through facebook and eventually e-mailed him. He had so many good words about you. He said to check out your blog. "The Gift of the Moment really hit home run for me. My 3-year olddaughter loves the book and knows the words by heart. The other day we had people of over and she invited them to her room. For her entertaining our guests was to read Bedtime at the Swamp to them. She loves the book and I read it over and over and she is still tickled pink with every word. I hope you can e-mail me. wena_m@yahoo.com. I am looking forward to reading more of your work. You inspire me to inspire. I am working on getting my work published so I can enrich others the way it has enriched my daughter and I. Reading your book is a bonding experience for me and my daughter as well as my unborn baby. Thank you.

Mia said...

That is absolutely wonderful. A wonderful gift and a wonderful compliment.

macky said...

wonderful story, kristyn. that was a fun read.
i would have loved to be hiding in that corner with you enjoying the whole scene as well.