I picked Petite up from school early and we headed to Iowa City. The doors opened at 4:15. We parked at 3:30...I was worried about traffic and wanted to get there early. It is in my blood. On the way down the girls decided to make a poster for Shawn. This was snapped driving down the interstate. They were busy at work.
The girls finished the poster in the van while waiting for 4:00. We walked up to the building which is part of the U of I campus and headed in the door. We took the elevator up to the 4th floor and stood in line. There were photographers and reporters all around. The girls stood there with their sign and was spotted by a reporter. Oh, what a great interview it was!She asked them if they thought Shawn holding the meet and greet for flood relief was good. They then told the reporter that they thought it was great because their gym flooded just like Shawn's. They showed her pictures they brought along to show Shawn.She spent a good 15 minutes interviewing them. They were psyched! As the interview was winding down, lo and behold, Shawn walked by. She is the one on the right in the Uggs.
We finally got into the banquet hall where the shin dig was being held. What a classy set up they had. Coat racks to hold the winter coats that were definitely needed outdoors. Classical music to listen to and a buffet with the best finger foods imaginable. Wouldn't it have been nice to have a picture of it to show you? There was fruit (strawberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew and grapes), veggies (red and yellow peppers, broccoli, two different kinds of squash, carrots and celery), 5 different kinds of cheese, crackers, 3 different kinds of finger sandwiches, mini eggrolls, meat balls, 5 different kinds of cookies and many different kinds of dessert bars along with coffee, tea, water and lemonade. There were tables with white table cloths to sit at and waiters and waitresses with tuxedo shirts and ties walking around collecting trash. It was amazing!
While we were waiting for our group number to be called, someone from the university asked if they could take the girls picture. They obliged.
When our group number was called the girls couldn't stand still. It was hilarious to watch them. Sweet was fidgety and bounced while Petite kept looking around the person in front of her to catch a glimpse of Shawn.They walked up to their hero, their role model and had the time of their life. For 30 seconds to a minute they were her main focus. They handed her the poster they made and the scrapbook of pictures of their gym in hopes she will look at it.They got autographs and pictures taken. Oh, what a feeling!The funniest part of the whole experience was the photographers. Evidently word had gotten around about the girls story and when they finally got up to Shawn every reporter in that room was clicking. I had never heard so many cameras. Of course I didn't get a picture of that monterage either. We were then surrounded by reporters asking names, ages and hometowns. It was unreal, terrific but unreal! They loved every minute of it!
Worried that Shawn might not look at the pictures the girls decided to take matters into their own hands. They both walked up to Shawn's mom and asked that she make sure Shawn looks at the pictures because they are important. Her mom promised she would. What a mom!
After leaving I took the girls to Cici's pizza to celebrate their night. I told the girls the reporter told me her whole report was going to be about them. I have never seen faces with smiles that big. (The report on the 10 o'clock news was not disappointing either. The reporter compared Shawn to Sweet and Petite as being Iowa girls who were all affected by the floods of 2008 by having their gym flooded. It couldn't have been better.)
So asking the girls the best part of their day was a no brainer. Meeting Shawn Johnson of course. Asking the worst part of their day made me laugh. "The Uggs!" they said. "They were so ugly!" Big ole smile on this mama's face! Happy to have been able to participate in this dream come true.
©Wicked Pickles-Homefront Lines 2008