The happy dance

When my niece was four or five years old, she drew a photo of some people standing on the planet Earth, and her parents mailed the drawing in to the editors of “Yak,” (the kids’ section of the Detroit Free Press). Then my niece and her parents forgot all about it. That is until one morning several months later. My sister had already left for work. My brother-in-law was eating a bowl of cereal while reading the sports page. My niece sat across from him with the morning’s edition of “Yak,” when suddenly she  let out a gasp of excitement. “I’m in the paper! My drawing is in the paper!”

And sure enough it was. How appropriate that it was Earth Day! Her dad jumped up and embraced her. They danced around the kitchen. They called my sister on her cell phone. She quickly turned the car around and headed back home to join the happy dance. I wasn’t there, but I imagine it involved holding hands and jumping while circling the kitchen table.

I remember hearing this story at the time and thinking, “Wow! My sister really turned the car around for this?” It seemed a little extreme, as did the chatter about the Yak drawing that continued for the rest of the week among members of my family.

Fast forward nine years. I get a call at work. It’s my mom. “Meghan is in the paper!” she exclaims. I jump up. I ask questions. I look up the paper online. I can’t find it! I call my husband. I order him home. He scans the photo and sends it to my phone. I grin. I go back to work. I pull up the photo again a few minutes later. I grin again.

That night when I got home from work, the paper was displayed prominently on the kitchen table. I grabbed it and took in the photo of our little girl. And while the paper in question is a small weekly publication for residents of the Township, it might as well have been Time magazine for all the excitement it brought to our little family.

I then picked up our little girl and showed her the photo. She laughed at herself and the rather large plush duck she was hugging! Then she and I did our own happy dance around the kitchen.  Life does come full circle.

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