It was one of those things my parents had to remind me to say with "What do you say, Stephanie?" It’s not that I forgot the words or my manners when my grandparents presented me with Rainbow Brite for Hannukah. Sometimes "thank you" seemed too small a gesture for the act, but mostly I’d stumble with gratitude because it meant accepting things. Receiving. Admitting that someone made me happy, made things easier, that it was harder, or not as much fun, without them.
Thanking people, on some level, admits something softer. It concedes that you’re vulnerable, in need or actually appreciative for something you wanted. It’s kinda balls-to-the wind scary having to thank people because it can disclose not only what you value but what you want and what you need, especially when you spend so much of your time concealing such obvious pursuits, however unwitting.
Thank you to the Barnard women who organized events and cocktail hours in my honor, to the people who showed up but were turned away because they couldn’t accommodate the crowd (I’m so sorry), and to all the volunteers in each city who arrived early, very early, who cut Miles of Chocolate, who baked cupcakes, lots of cupcakes! (Petite Treats in Dallas), for soliciting raffle prizes like hotel rooms, spa products, and massages. For always waiting until the end of the event, and for all the effort you put in before it even began. For keeping me company on the road, for getting a babysitter, for driving over four hours to meet with me for just a few minutes, for the one on one moments where you shared your lives (and pregnancy news) with me, for talking me into buying a pair of leggings, despite how long I’ve resisted the trend. Thank you.
Photos from the road are here, and if you have your own photos from any of the events, be sure to add them >>