The joy of unexpected excitement
(or: It couldn't have been better if you had planned it.)
~Note before you hear the story: I did not have my camera, which I am kicking myself over today. But some moments just have to live in your memory!~
I was totally dreading all the running around I was going to have to do on Saturday. I had to get Delaney to a math tournament, but then couldn't stay to watch because I had to get McKenna to the downtown public library for a research session for English class. I had to stick around because she might need some help looking for books and making copies (and, besides, who wants to go anywhere extra with the cost of gas these days?). I tried to look on the bright side of things and not regret the sleeping-in I could be having for the first day in Forever, but it wasn't easy.
I was quickly, though, taught a valuable lesson that I already knew was true: Don't get in a negative state of mind, lest you miss the joys coming your way!
When we arrived at the library, we soon realized that some big event was going on. A few quick looks around and we realized that it had to do with the fact that April is To Kill a Mockingbird Month in our county (they are sponsoring the book with sort of a county-wide "book club," encouraging people to read or re-read it and to celebrate the book for its lasting importance). Some of you may already have heard me say how much I love To Kill a Mockingbird; it is my favorite book of all time, is Gary's first or second favorite, and all the girls (well, except Sydney! lol) have read it. The book is beautifully written, has some of the most beautifully crafted characters ever; and, most importantly, teaches the most life-affirming lessons. We also love the movie and have watched it more times than we can count! (We all get goosebumps just talking about the scene where Gregory Peck's Atticus walks out of the courtroom and Scout is instructed to, "Jean Louise, stand up. Your daddy's passin'." She realizes, then, what a man-among-men her father is.) And, if you didn't doubt our love for it, we seriously considered naming Sydney "Scout" after the book's amazing main character; although we didn't name her it, though, we still call her Scout a lot of the time!
I walk over to one of the tables displaying brochures and bookmarks and such and tell the man standing there, "This is my little Scout." He smiles and tells us that the "real" Scout will be here soon. Mary Badham, the actress who played Scout in the movie when she was 10-years-old, would be doing a lecture at the library about her experiences in the movie. I began beating myself for not knowing all of this was going on; I would have so been on the first row to hear her!
Then, from the door came the prettiest lady who looked JUST like Scout from the movie (even though she now is probably 55 to 60-years-old). She stopped to talk to a few people, then walked right over to Sydney and kneeled down beside her. I told her that she is "our Scout," and she said to her: "Well, hello Scout. I'm also named Scout," and then went on to compliment her on her pretty dress (she was wearing her favorite red-and-black dress with crinoline under it... yes, my Scout has to wear a Sunday dress just for a trip to the library!), telling her that she had a dress almost just like it when she was little.
Sydney thought she was just a nice, friendly lady and surely couldn't understand why I was so gah-gah over her (McKenna was also sorta entertained by it all too!). I chatted with her for a few moments, but then she was on her way!
Needless to say...it was an absolute THRILL and I'm still all a-twitter just thinking about it. (It's also made me go dig out one of my three copies of To Kill a Mockingbird. I'm reading it again this week, and challenge you all to read it again or read it for the first time if you never have! And dig out the movie too; it's unbelievably good!).
And the rest of the day? Fantastically put in perspective! I must have read 30 books to Sydney while McKenna did her research, and what a wonderful (unexpected!) time it was!
And a few other highlights from the weekend...
McKenna and her friend, Cassie, performed as The Andrews Sister (minus one!) at a "USO Show" at our church. I wasn't able to be there (had to take Delaney to softball stuff!), but they were apparently the HIT of the show!! They choreographed the cutest routine to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and I got rave reviews about it on Sunday. I hated that I wasn't there to get "real" pictures, but I did have them pose for me afterwards.
Delaney did GREAT at the county-wide Middle School Math Tournament. I was so proud of our school's team; we won first place in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. In sixth grade (Delaney's grade), we won four of the top 5 individual spots (we let a girl from another school place 3rd! lol); Delaney placed 5th out of all the sixth graders competing. SO proud!
And then, on Sunday, we got to see our brand new cousin (actually second cousin) and niece (actually, great niece, but I'm not quite comfortable with calling myself a Great Aunt; lol). Gary's sister's stepdaughter (did that make sense?) had the most adorable baby girl and we got to see her as soon as she came home.
This is sweet little Kelsey LeeAnn. She was 7 pounds and is just absolutely beautiful (I never had such a tiny baby....mine were 8"13', 8"14', and 9"9', so I'm always amazed by the delicacy of other babies). And they smell oh-so-sweet...
Just beautiful, isn't she?
I hope you all had wonderful weekends as well.
Take the time today to appreciate the day for what it is...and to look for the opportunities, and joys, within it! (You just might be surprised!)