. . . and then I thought, why not?
So we cancelled this morning's therapies and headed into the city. Having never been to a book reading/signing, I didn't know what to expect, other than we should get there early (turns out, we didn't really need to arrive that early, but Maya loves to hang out at book stores, so it worked out well). I packed like I was going to war---the iPad, stickers, 3 (!) cups of milk, snacks, her laminated Santa picture. Unable to master the balancing act of the diaper bag, the food bag, the camera bag, 2 jackets, and the walker, my stroller fell over 3 times . . . each time sending nice onlookers scrambling to help as I balanced Maya on my hip and tried to collect our scattered stuff. (Slightly embarrassing, but what can you do?)
First we bought Kristi's book (she was there to read and sign her new children's book). Maya was delighted to have a new book.
Then we tried to figure out the seating. The B&N folks were sooo nice. I had to speak with them about Maya's special needs so that they would let me bring the stroller into the event room (sitting without the stroller would soon yield a whiny, floppy mess). They kindly offered to get me "priority seating" and I was psyched . . . until I saw the priority seating. They saved a spot front and center for my chair and Maya's stroller. Nice, right? But that would have put us right in front of about 60 school kid who all sat on the floor . . . not so cool.
(What's that, little Susie? You can't see around gigantic me in this big chair? Too bad for you! Hooray for handicap priority seating! ---evil cackle----)
So I kindly declined and suggested that maybe I could pull an extra chair onto the edge of the row, and pull the stroller up next to it. And that's what we did:
Maya in her stroller next to my empty chair
And it quickly got crowded:
And just as Maya was getting beyond restless, the guest of honor arrived . . .
And read her (cute) book about a little pig with big dreams . . .
And then she took some questions . . .
Right after I took this photo, the kid asked "Are you going to teach us to ice skate today?" That must have been one disappointed kid on the walk back to school. (Kristi giggled and said diplomatically, "Well, we don't have any ice in here . . . maybe next time.")
Then we waited in line to have our book signed. I also had printed out 2 copies of the "Simple Certainty" post and laminated them---on one I wrote a note and I planned to leave that one with her (maybe she would get bored in a limo ride and read it. Dream big, right?) and the other I was hoping to have her sign. My mom also thought that I should bring a picture that I have from 1995, when I actually met Kristi at a cocktail party after a "Stars on Ice" show . . . but I thought it might be too much. I envisioned the conversation going down like this:
"Hi Kristi. This is my daughter---she's disabled and has to wear splints on her feet as she learns to walk, just like you did! Here's a blog post that I wrote about you---look, I even put one of your baby pictures on top. Also, here's a picture of you and me from 16 years ago----do you remember me? Didn't we have fun together that night . . . " (and then she would do the security-save-me ear tug and I would be carried out yelling "Kristi Yamaguchi, I'm not a stalker! I promise!")
So anyway, we're waiting and the line is moving quickly. Maya had a bit of a meltdown when we joined the line, and it was making her happy to hold one of the laminated sheets. We step onto the stage, and this is how it went down:
Kristi: Would you like this personalized?
Me: Yes, please, her name is Maya. M-a-y-a. It's so nice to meet you. She's disabled and has splints to walk, similar to how you did (showing splints). I write a blog read by some parents of children with special needs, and recently I spoke about you in a post (handing over laminated post), I brought a copy for you so that you could see it.
Kristi: (finishes writing in book, looks at laminated blog post and smiles) Oh yeah, she had the same type of casts that I . . . oh wait, that's me!
Me: (blushes and feels like a stalker, even though I swear I'm not)
Me: Could you possibly sign this one for me? (takes other laminated blog post from Maya)
Maya: WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU TAKE AWAY MY PLASTIC SHEET I HATE YOU MOMMY AND I HATE KRISTI YAMAGUCHI TOO THIS IS THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE (of course, since she can't talk it sounds more like WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA through hysterical tears)
Kristi: (signs blog post)
Me: Could I get a picture of you two?
Me: (plops Maya onto table and shoves laminated sheet in her hand, which instantly makes her stop)
Then I snapped this winning photo:
Kristi: Cheese! Maya: (too stunned at the reappearance of the plastic paper to think straight)
And then this one:
Kristi: Cheese! Maya: I've got to get away before this lady tries to take my plasticy sheet again.
About a second later, she tried to back off of the table, creating a momentary panic between Kristi and her press person. No biggie.
Maya's signed book:
And my signed blog post (in the confusion, I gave it to her upside down and she signed the back. I was hoping to hang it up and now it won't work quite as well. Argh.)
And that was our fun adventure. Totally worth blowing off therapy for :)
(PS. If someone had told me a month ago that within the span of 3 weeks I would write 2 posts involving Kristi Yamaguchi I would have thought you were nuts. Funny how things work out.)