Thank you for all your kind words and your prayers yesterday. The secret was a huge success! I had envisioned slipping in and standing next to him as we watched the show, but I knew there could be production glitches that would call the whole thing off. Last week, I enlisted the help of our dear family friend, Frankie, who works in Mike's office. I shared the idea and asked him if he thought it too crazy. He was enthused and thought it might work, given a tidy production day. We both acknowledged that sometimes first days aren't all that tidy. The plan was to check in with Frankie around 2:00. If all was good, I'd hit the road. It's a bit more than an hour into the city from our house.
At 11:46, my phone rang. It was Mike. I knew that they were shooting at noon. My stomach dropped and my heart leapt. I was sure something was terribly wrong. Why in the world would he call so close to "action" time? Because that's the time we exchanged our vows. He just wanted to say, "I still do."
We chatted for just a few minutes and I hung up very pleased that I was still keeping the secret.
At 2:00, I checked in with Frankie and he said there were some glitches but to come on. Patrick and I drove into the city and Paddy dropped me off at Mike's office at 3:30. Frankie met me in the lobby and helped me clear security. He explained that the glitch was pretty big and he was going to sit me in Mike's office until it was a good time to tell him I was there. I was a little bummed that I wouldn't see him, but really glad I'd enlisted Frankie's help. The last thing I wanted was to be in the way and I knew Frankie would keep me from doing that.
I sat at Mike's desk and doodled little notes and pictures on a notepad. I'm sure he'll smile when he goes to jot things today. I left yesterday's blog post up on his computer. And then, I started to get a little concerned. It was 10 minutes to air and I couldn't figure out how to work the TV on his office wall. How ironic would it be if I came all this way and missed the show? I texted home. My teenagers always help me with TV issues. No luck. So I stuck my head out the door and 'fessed up to all those TV guys that I couldn't even turn it on. After getting all tuned in, I settled in to watch the show. In his office. By myself.
But it was fine. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the show (I'd had my doubts). Frankie checked in a couple times to tell me that the glitch was unglitching, but that Mike was crucial to making sure it all went well. At the end of the show, a huge cheer went up in the ESPN wing of the ABC building. And I think I heard an audbile collective sigh of relief. It was way fun to be there for that.
After the show was over, Frankie insisted Mike come upstairs to his office. I'm pretty sure Mike was annoyed with Frankie;-). He opened the office door, saw me sitting there, and literally did a double take. A smile slowly spread all over his face and he said, "You're here. Wow. You're here." I explained the rest of the plan, shared that we had reservations at 7 and that he had plenty of time to do all the things he had to do. If we needed to go a little later, we could do that, too. Then I curled up in the corner with my Kindle and let him do his thing.
When he was satisfied that all was well with his corner of the television world., we walked to this restaurant, a block or so from the White House. On the way, Mike said he really couldn't believe I'd done this whole thing, that I'd appeared on this day. I was quiet and he went on to elaborate. You have fear of cities (um, yeah, that whole agorophobia thing). Today was the first day of full ballet and soccer driving--everybody has something. HOW did you manage that? (With fine-tuned precision and a lot of help). You were afraid that because the 10th anniversary of 9/11 was a Sunday, the new attack would come on the next day. (You knew that? I never said that! How did you know that? But, yeah, that was the big obstacle. And then I remembered that you flew the first day planes went up ten years ago and you have said ever since then that the terrorists win if we let them make our plans for us. So I did this for you. Because you're brave. I am not.)
Fear is a thief. I've allowed it to rob me far too many times.
After dinner, we walked in front of the White House and across Lafayette Square. I noted that there is an American Craft exhibit at the Renwick Gallery and promised myself to come back soon. Mike and I chatted about art, craft, and creativity. I'm grateful for a life that allows us both to do things we genuinely love to do. We went back to the studio and turned off all the lights. We gathered up the leftovers of the Georgetown Cupcakes emblazoned with the new show's logo and took them back to our kids.
A perfect ending to a very sweet day.