I had high expectations of our trip to the National Book Festival on Saturday. I had visions of sitting on the front row in the fiction tent, taking in everything the authors had to say. Meanwhile I figured Evan, my two year old, and my husband, Bryan, would be entertained in the PBS kids’ tent. Of course this plan hinged on us leaving the house no later than 8:30 in order to be downtown and parked well ahead of the first speaker.
Instead the day started out with a little kitchen incident that involved blueberry-lemon muffins and lots of smoke billowing from the oven. Clearing the smoke from the house and ensuring the oven wasn’t going to actually catch fire put us behind schedule. That meant nearly all the parking was taken by the time we got downtown, so we circled the National Mall for about 45 minutes trying to find a space. As we were circling, Evan spotted the carousel and spent the next 15 minutes asking when we could ride.
I gave in on the carousel ride, so we were pretty far behind schedule by the time we made it into the book festival. I pulled out my camera to snap a few pictures when I suddenly realized the battery was dead. You know what they say about the best laid plans, but the day was still a success. I was able to see Jeannette Walls, Jodi Piccoult and Paula Deen speak. I didn’t get to spend as much time in the fiction tent as I had hoped, but I did get to see Evan be entertained by Judy Blume and Mo Willams who read their favorite children’s books to the kids. Evan got to meet Clifford the Big Red Dog and see Elmo. Evan’s face lit up when he received three new books.
I know there will come a day when I get to spend all the time I want taking in my favorite authors, but for now, seeing Evan discover reading and watching him learn to love it was far better than that front row seat I had planned to get.