I have been traveling, traveling, traveling. Last week I was smack dab in the middle of Missouri. Yesterday I was in the eastern part of North Carolina. Today I am on my couch, where I plan to stay.
In my travels, I have been talking to children about stories and writing. I talk about how we humans seem to need our daily dose of storytelling or else we get a little cranky. We are creatures hungry for meaning.
And I sign a lot of books. When I sign books, I ask kids to tell me something about themselves--one thing they like to do, or an interesting fact about them. When I hand their book back to them, I say, "Thank you. It's wonderful to meet you."
If I am a Christian, I am the least of all. I do what I should not do, and do not do what I should. But one thing I can do, and sometimes remember to do, is love the ones who are put in my path. And fortunately for me, many of these are children, whom I find easy to love. Even the ones who are smart-alecky or half asleep when they sit in the audience stand before me vulnerable and shy and sweet, asking so politely if I'll sign their book (or a piece of paper or their hand).
It is my hope and my dream that for some of these children it matters that the visiting author talked to them and listened to them and said, "Oh, I like your name!" or "My sons play World of Warcraft and Minecraft, too!" It's not much, but it's what I can do. What I hope they hear: You are loved. Your story is important.
I do it because it has been done unto me.