Fancy shmancy authors, of which I am not, often travel with media reps — assistants who help them to get from place to place, and in my mind at least, fetch lattes and deal with anything the author doesn’t want to do herself. Sadie, as it turns out, makes a pretty great assistant so long as she doesn’t get to go into any book store. There is simply too much temptation. She likes to run down the long, narrow aisles, touching every bright and shining book cover as she goes — often resulting in a literary avalanche.
At many events, I’ve found people expect me to bring all the stars of my work, my children.
“Where are the girls?” they ask, looking over my shoulder for white blond curls.
“Oh? I thought they would be here,” they sigh.
Have you read anything I’ve written? I want to ask. Because all that craziness? It’s all true.
Sadie went to the first signing with me in December in my hometown. My mother, who was supposed to be “babysitting” was highly distracted by friends she hadn’t seen in 10 years, and Sadie took the opportunity to climb into the chair with me then proceeded to scale my back like a climber on Mount Everest.
Her goal, I think, was to sit on my shoulders while I was signing books. My sister quite literally got Sadie out of my hair by taking her outside for a walk.
Several minutes passed before my mother noticed she was missing. Shuggie ran up to my signing table in a frenzy, “ROBIN! Where is Sadie??” She panted while I signed a book.
I shrugged. “You’re asking me? I thought you were watching her...”
My mother ran out the door where she was quickly met by my sister and Miss Sadie, and I explained to the women waiting patiently for my attention, “She deserved that just a little bit.”
But in spite of being banned from the actual events, Sadie is quite a good assistant. She made sure I look my best... “Oh Mommy!” She breathed seeing me in full makeup for the first time in a month, “You wook so bootiful!”
And she’s kept me from leaving the house looking my worst... she stormed into the bathroom while I was in the tub one morning, “Your hair wooks terrible,” she announced, then turned around and slammed the door behind her.
And she’s helped me to remember why I do what I do. Our last night on the road, I tucked her into her grandmother’s bed and listened as she said her prayers, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. Next time won’t you sing with me. Thank you for Mommy and Daddy, and Shuggie and you and your tiny wittle brown eyebrows.” She giggled and traced my eyebrows with her index fingers. “And my house and Mississippi and glittery wipgwoss and Aubrey and Emma. Amen.”
Robin Wiley O’Bryant is a syndicated humor columnist, author and speaker. She was born and raised in Jasper and now lives in Mississippi with her husband and three daughters. Read more online at www.robinschicks. com or e-mail Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org.