Saturday, January 31, 2015

Celebrating Rose and ALA Midwinter

I’m joining up with Ruth Ayres for her weekly link-up, Celebrate This Week. Check out all of the posts linked up at her blog HERE. Thanks for starting this, Ruth!

Any time I write a blog post to link up with Ruth on Saturdays, Kool & The Gang’s Celebration is always going through my head as I begin. I don’t think that song has ever been more appropriate than this weekend.

If you had told me just one month ago I would be sitting here in my home today, typing a blog post in my pajamas, I would have been confused. ALA’s Midwinter Conference was on my calendar and I was hopping on a train Friday morning, returning Sunday. Nothing would keep me from Chicago and book discussions galore. I couldn’t wait.

Enter Rose. Two weeks ago a friend and colleague contacted me. She was looking for a new home for her one year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She felt she wasn’t home enough and knew that with our two boys, Rose would get plenty of attention. Were we ready?

Ha! I knew I was, I knew the boys were, but Chris? I wasn’t sure. Bally had been his first dog. He really wasn’t sure if he wanted another. And yet, he said yes.

Rose came home and I knew I needed to stay home this weekend. Beyond wanting her to be comfortable, we were saving money for a summer trip. With getting a new pup, something had to give.

So Rose alone is enough reason to celebrate. And then, there is ALA…

Yes, I realize there is a big football game this weekend, but my eyes are turned towards Monday.

I think every year I am more and more excited for American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards. I love predicting the Caldecott and Newbery winners with my students. Learning more about each award as it comes up. Finding titles I love honored, finding titles I haven’t read and must read immediately. It is so much fun.

This year a snowstorm is looming, with it the threat of a little snow or a lot. At first, I was bummed. What if it dumps a lot of snow? What if we have a snow day? Then my students and I cannot watch together.

It was then that Luke reminded me that we had a snow day last year for the awards. That he, Liam, and I were curled up in my bedroom, watching the live feed together, cheering on the books and their authors. He looked at me and said, “I hope we get to do that again this year, Mom.”

Yep, a snow day would be ok too.

This weekend simply fills my heart with joy. I love the celebration around books, authors, illustrators, publishers, and children’s literature. I love that an industry that has given so much to my students – and to me – gets its time in the limelight. And while I have plenty of favorites that I’d love to see get a shiny sticker on the covers of their books, I am thrilled to celebrate any books that win. No, I might not be in Chicago hugging friends, talking to authors and publishers, picking up some advanced copies, but I am right where I should be. And I think I will celebrate the best way possible, by picking up a book.