For the first time in a LONG time, I was given the opportunity to feel pure, unadulterated joy. It happened, quite by accident, while my daughters and I were in the car yesterday afternoon.
As is typical on Friday afternoons, I'd picked my oldest daughter up from her elementary school. She climbed into the back seat, greeted her baby sister and me, and (as is also typical) asked me to change the radio station I was currently listening to over to Radio Disney. Unless there's a good song on the station, or I've got a CD in for the baby to help entertain her while we're waiting, I typically don't mind. In fact, I really do get a kick out of hearing my daughter singing along with all of the teeny boppers "du jour" who are chiming out from the car's speakers.
It's also pretty typical on Fridays that, after picking up my daughter, I swing by the middle school to pick up my son. Then, I take both of the older children to play at our local Boys and Girls' Club, so they can meet up with friends and (hopefully) blow off some steam before coming home for the evening.
The wait for my oldest daughter can be pretty intense... she's got ADHD, and it's VERY difficult for her to be in one place for too long, which is yet another reason why I turn the Disney station on for her...better to keep her entertained than to have her climbing the walls of my minivan!
Just as we pulled up in front of my son's school, the station's current DJ announced a new contest. Again, as is typical of my daughter, she BEGGED me to call for her. There are times when we're sitting and waiting for something that, again, I don't mind. It makes her happy and gives me something to do, too. As I dialed the number, I went through my typical schpeel about how it's so hard to get through to this station (especially where it's one of the few that's broadcast nationwide), and that she shouldn't get her hopes up. My lecture was followed up with a litany of "I know, Mom, I know, I know, I know!".
The first time I dialed the phone was busy... as usual. I dialed again. Busy. I looked at my daughter and said, "Okay... I'll try one more time". Wouldn't you know it... the phone started RINGING! What was even more surprising is that shortly after, someone PICKED UP!! :)
Apparently, it was the DJ's assistant, who, after obtaining some preliminary information from me, wanted to speak with my daughter (one of the golden rules of this particular radio station is that you must be 14 or under to enter any contest! :). Of course, I had no real idea what the complete conversation was, because I was only hearing her one-sided version. All I know is that her squeals became louder and louder, and she suddenly turned to me and said, "Mama! I'm the RIGHT CALLER!!" I don't think either one of us could truly believe it!
The premise of this particular contest was that the child playing had to be in their car with a parent, and said parent had to honk the horn of their car. The DJ was to then guess either the make of the car, or the color of the car. Based on my daughter's answers, I could tell the DJ's guesses were completely off the mark, when suddenly, my daughter cried out again.... "Mama... I WON!!!" This of course was followed by squeals of delight and tons of giggles.
Soon after, the phone was passed back to me, so the DJ's assistant could get my daughter's complete name, our address, and our telephone number. Once I hung up, I found out what the REALLY cool prize was that she won... a copy of the newly-released Twister Dance video game, personally signed by Monique Coleman (of "High School Musical" and "Dancing With The Stars" fame).
Because she won this contest, she was also qualified to win five tickets to a Disney sponsored contest, which featured oodles and oodles of her VERY favorite, bubble-gum, teeny-bopper singers! She was just over the moon (and was making plans about whom she was going to invite!).
I watched her face with sheer glee as the entire conversation between her and the disc jockey replayed over the car radio. She could barely contain herself as the DJ announced over the radio that she'd won her precious loot! :)
She HAD to call Daddy (who was working at the time) and her Nana (who was home at the time) to tell them what had just happened to her. And of course, she couldn't wait for her brother to get into the car so she could recount her exciting adventure to him, as well.
I swear, that little girl of mine was acting like she'd just won the lottery! But, I suppose, in an 8-year-old's mind, winning a prize as treasured as the one she's about to receive, and having her "15 minutes of fame" on her VERY favorite radio station, was probably just as wonderful as any grown person winning Megabucks.
And, you know what? Seeing that beautiful little face, with those big apple cheeks grinning from ear to ear, and hearing those giggles and squeals of delight, and seeing those joyful tears as she turned to me and thanked me ("SOOOOOO much, Mama!") for allowing her to call into the station.... that wonderful, exhuberant moment was worth more to me than being given buckets of money from the State lottery commission, as well.
~~Originally posted on my MySpace blog on November 4, 2006