This Sunday was quite the eventful day for me for multiple reasons.

CBS Sunday Morning segment featuring the story behind my new children’s book, Three Little Engines was scheduled to air. The excitement was palpable for several reasons. The idea of having my book and its message shared with an audience of millions is obviously pretty cool.  Selfishly, the idea that my mom, my family and friends would be able to gather around the TV to see me talk – not just about the book – but about how grateful I was for all they had done to get me “over the mountain” was a tremendous gift.

And yet it was an event that would occur three hours later on a much  smaller screen that would prove even more rewarding and poignant.

You see while two of my children gathered to watch the CBS segment with me, my oldest was a hundred miles away at her first sleep away camp.  I had not seen her or heard her voice in a week. By far the longest stretch we’d been separated in her young life. 

Our only contact to that point had been a one-page letter which, when reading behind the lines, might suggest that camp was not without its growing pains. Now, of course, this letter was written after only one day at camp and there is a natural adjustment that occurs. Yet to read a line that says, “I love you sooooo much and miss you terribly’ is enough to break a parent’s heart.  

I know enough to put her experience in perspective. Missing home is only natural, she is probably doing much better after a week and being away is ultimately good for her. Yet still the word “terribly’ is one I had never seen her utter or write before. It gnawed at me until I was able to talk to her.

The CBS segment was wonderful. The conversation with my daughter was so much better. She of course is enjoying camp so much more.  To hear her voice, her laugh, was not only a relief but a joy.

What I found most rewarding that day is probably a good illustration of how our priorities and values change over time. The shift from valuing individual accomplishment to deep interpersonal connections.

I am lucky on so many levels these days.  Most children’s books don’t have segments on major networks.  I have children who still say they miss their parents. And I am able to connect to what I value and love on so many different levels.

If you find yourself missing someone, call and let them know.  
If you’re grateful for those who have helped you at some point, let them and the world know. 

You don’t need a TV show to do either – just a phone.  

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