Last week I was cheerfully walking into the elementary school office, minding my own business on my way to check my mailbox. Three steps into the office I see the building principal walk out of the nurse's office where he immediately said, "Oh, good! You've saved me a trip. I was just coming to talk to you. So, Elaina . . ."
And that's when the fear of God shot straight from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. My heart skipped a beat and I immediately felt a little light headed. I had been waiting for this moment since the instant my second born stepped foot in one of our district's schools. The honeymoon was over. The gig was up. They were on to us, and her sweet, cheerful facade could no longer fool them. She'd finally shown her true colors and now it was time to pay the piper.
Slowly I regained consciousness from my momentary fear induced blackout, and I casually stated, "Oh my God, what did she do?". The principal and social worker, who also happened to be standing nearby, both started to laugh. The assured me that everything was fine, that in fact they had chosen her as one of the students to meet with ABC7 meteorologist Tracy Butler on her upcoming visit to our school for a little weather segment that would air later next month.
And that's when I momentarily lost consciousness again.
My spunky, sassy, sometimes unpredictable, drama queen of a daughter meeting with a television personality? With cameras to capture the entire event? Aired on local television for thousands in the Chicagoland area to view? I mean, anyone who knows Elaina realizes immediately that she was born for this kind of opportunity. She has the blood of an entertainer running deep through her veins. I didn't hesitate to say that of course she could participate, but there was only one other pressing questions I had to ask as I was signing the waiver for her to appear on television: by signing this waiver, I was in no way held responsible for what came out of her mouth, right? That whatever crazy thing she might do to ensure camera time that may or may not negatively tarnish the reputation of our school district could not be held against me, her mother, either personally or professionally? Because again, anyone who has seen her at her music concerts know that when the spotlight is on all predictability and sense of appropriateness is left behind the stage risers.
So Monday morning arrived and as we spent some extra time making sure she was camera ready, I noticed she seemed a less than excited. In fact, she was a little surly to be honest. I asked her what was wrong, if she was nervous, if she felt okay. After some mild huffing and puffing she finally admitted that she wished it wasn't St. Patrick's Day. I didn't quite make the connection initially, but then it dawned on me. "Are you annoyed because I'm making you wear green today?" to which she responded with a heavy sigh, "Well, hot pink really is more of my signature color". Seriously. Some gold beads and a clunky green bracelet as accessories, once added to her hair bow, seemed to brighten her mood a bit.
I was in a different building seeing students yesterday, so I wasn't able to be there when she met Tracy Butler. After she got off the bus, she was quick to give me the complete rundown which basically amounted to this: Tracy Butler (always referred to by her full name any conversation) is REALLY nice, she gave all the kids a rainbow loom bracelet and a weather workbook, Elaina missed lunch with her class, the camera man zoomed in on her so she's sure she'll end up on TV, and they talked about the tornado a lot.
She was also very excited to show us the autographed headshot she received, something that I told her would make her gramma very proud since she's a celebrity autograph hound herself.
Overall, it seems as though Elaina's first brush with fame was a big success, signature color or not. It also appears as though she did not tarnish the family name with any ridiculous questions, stories, or antics but I guess we'll have to wait to find out for sure when the segment airs on April 26th.
(As a side note, I should mention that The General, when told she was going to meet Tracy Butler, explained to Elaina, "I don't think I know who she is. She's on Channel 7? Yeah, we're more of a Brandt Miller Channel 5 news and weather family". I continue to pray that she forgot that little nugget of information and failed to include that soundbite in yesterday's filming.)