Monday, October 3, 2011

The Signing That Almost Wasn't: Part I

Before I begin, I made it.
I met Laini Taylor.
I never give away the endings to books or movies, but you may want to skip through my misadventures on the afternoon and evening leading up to the signing. So yes, there is a happy ending which will be part of my next post. This one was getting extremely long, so I'm splitting into Part I (today) and Part II (Tues. or Wed.).

When you have 4 kids who attend 3 different schools, throw in after school activities, and the inevitable last minute change of plans, you never know what the day will bring. All the planning in the world doesn’t guarantee that the day will go as expected. And so when I learned of Laini’s signing earlier in the week and checked my schedule, I knew the timing of getting there would be tight, and there was a good chance I might not get there at all.

Enter change of plans: My daughter’s game was cancelled. At first, Aw (sad face) but then, yay (happy face) I could pick her up earlier. This meant I could go to a wake I needed to attend earlier. Then there was dinner. Friday is takeout night at our house. Easy, right? I had just enough time to go to McDonald’s for the kids and pick up a pizza for my husband and I.

No problem, until we hit traffic. Okay. It’s okay, I murmured to myself. I just needed to leave to my house by 6:15. I arrived at McD’s and there were 10...TEN cars in the drive thru! Were they giving away burgers? I’d never seen the drive thru backed up that much. Plan B: I pulled into a space and directed the 2 girls who were with me to RUN TO THE DOOR! WE’RE ORDERING INSIDE! I got to the counter, ordered, then reached into my purse when I realized, I left all my money at home. NOOOOOO! I died just a little bit inside at that point as I saw in a flash what the next half hour would be like and how my chances of getting to the signing were slim to none.

So I did what any self-respecting person would do in my situation. I shouted, GIRLS, RUN! Thankfully my girls know that Mom can be kind of a maniac at times. This was about when I started talking myself down from a frantic state. This may sound corny, but I use little mantras to calm myself down when I feel myself starting to tense up. “Just keep going and hope for the best,” popped into my head and was repeated over and over again. I really, really , really wanted to go to this signing, I needed to go to this signing (will get into that in my next post), but knew safety and staying calm were top priority. So we got back into the car and crawled through traffic back home. I grabbed my wallet which was thankfully where I thought it would be (after giving older daughter cash to go out with friends). Then we crawwwwwled to the pizza place, crawwwwled back to McDonald’s (but no cars in the drive thru this time – Woot! Small victory!), and made our way home.

I got the kids settled, grabbed my sweater and camera, and left without eating supper – it was now 6:30. Getting to Wellesley on a good day is about 20-25 minutes. I was definitely going to sweat this ride out. By now it was getting dark and I was so afraid I’d miss a turn; the timing was going to be right down to the minute. As I approached the long lines of traffic at the red lights tense as can be, I purposely diverted my eyes from the dashboard clock and whispered, “Just keep going and hope for the best.”

to be continued...


  1. When you're raising four kids going to three different schools, there IS no such thing as "normal routine."

  2. HAHAHAHA! You are SO right, Susan!

  3. This sounds like the opening scenes of a really fun movie :-)

  4. Sarah's right - it does sound like the opening scenes of a movie!

  5. Great story, Suzie. I hope you keep at it. It is a lot of work, but someday I'm sure you'll say it was worth it.