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Adventures in Not Going Anywhere

A Matt Cohen hug. (Not Number One receiving it, though.)

Last week was Number One’s 17th birthday. She has always been very easy as far as birthdays go. Never really wanted parties. Short gift lists. Dinner at Tokyo Diner. One year, I told her we could go to the Salute to Supernatural convention for her birthday, but then I made her pay for the ticket, so I felt guilty and got her photo ops with every celebrity she wanted, and took her to Ruth’s Chris for dinner. Once you’ve felt Matt Cohen’s back muscles, everything after that is anticlimactic.

So this year, when she asked for only one thing, I really wanted to give it to her. Chris Colfer (Kurt on Glee) had a book coming out *on her birthday*, and the launch of his book tour was taking place in Philly, and she really wanted to get a signed copy from him. So I said okay.

Then I started trying to figure out how to do it. I work 2-3 hours longer on Tuesdays, but I figured if I got to work early and pushed to do everything fast, I could get out early, pick up Number One and her best friend, and drive to the outskirts of Philly, which is about an hour and a half away, hopefully with enough time to get in line and get a book.

Then I found out it’s not actually on the outskirts of Philly, but in New Jersey. North of Philly. And east of Philly. and THREE AND A HALF HOURS away. Longer with traffic, which of course there *always* is.

I was determined to get on the road as soon as possible. We’d probably get there an hour before the signing, if we were lucky and never stopped to pee. Assuming I wasn’t underestimating the fandom, which I knew with absolute certainty that I was. I dreaded driving 7 hours round trip, getting home at somewhere around 2:00 a.m., and being empty-handed. But I would give my daughter her single request for a birthday celebration.

And then Number One forwarded me a link to a Tumblr post where someone had called every store where Colfer was signing, and got all the details of the process. Our store was going to open at 8:00 a.m., an hour early. People were required to go inside and buy the book, then get in line and wait for the signing to start. At 7:00 p.m.

Okay, so I’d take the day off, even though I’d just taken a week’s vacation and would only be back for a day. We’d leave at 5:00 a.m. That meant Number One’s best friend would have to sleep over and skip camp that day. They’d hopefully still have books when we got there at 9:00, and then we’d wait in line.

For eleven. freaking. hours. And then drive home, arriving at 1 or 2 in the morning. I’d have to get up at 6 for work Wednesday. Ugh.

I asked Number One if it was worth it to do all that, and get about 10 seconds to talk to him. She admitted that it wasn’t, and hid her disappointment from me fairly well. She’s the best kid ever.

But I’m the worst mom ever, because I’ve been rejoicing ever since. I tried to order a signed copy because the store says you can do that, but they wouldn’t ship this one and were kind of jerks about it. Her father picked up the book on his way home from work that night, and she was incredibly happy to have it, anyway. So that’s something.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever done to make your kid happy?

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6 Responses

  1. Heh. last year son wanted Finn Mcmissile house shoes. (spy character from the movie Cars 2) don’t know why, but he asked his Elf to tell Santa that’s what he wanted everyday.

    Dh and I wanted to get him these slippers because I mean, they were houseshoes and was all the kid kept asking Santa for. Problem? Disney ONLY made Finn shoes for the U.K. since he was a British Spy. You could not order them and have them shipped to the US. We told son maybe Santa couldn’t get those. Son assured us that Santa was magic and could do anything and he knew he would get those slippers. Ah, 4 year old immagination. We couldn’t let him down.

    So I paypal’d money to a friend in the U.K. (yay for writing connections!), she ordered the slippers then mailed them to me.

  2. My kids are pretty easy to make happy. Steak scrapes, meat grease over their food, a new ball to chase. It’s the simple things in life!

  3. Sometimes you try everything under the sun and still can’t make it happen. But it’s the thought that counts, right? LOL My middle daughter wanted a limo for her 13th birthday just for a short trip to the movies. These limo companies have a 3 hour minimum. No exceptions. $300 plus tip! I don’t think so. So we loaded up our Suburban with tons of little balloons, streamers and a bucket of ice with cold drinks and drove them ourselves. They laughed, sang and giggled all the way. šŸ™‚ And we got to go for ice cream afterward at no extra charge! LOL

    • I LOVE that, Melissa! They got the same experience a limo would give them (what happens inside it is always the good part) but also a lesson in cost/benefit analysis and resourceful ingenuity. LOL

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