My amazing school family created a GoFundMe account for our family when I received my diagnosis in November. I am so incredibly touched by their generosity, and I love that this has started a snowball of other good deeds. For me and for others. Kindness matters!
Well, well, well. What a morning to remember.
The morning started early. I left the house at 6:15 in order to be at my sister-in-law’s house by 6:30. She graciously drove us. We picked up my mom and grandma on the way and headed downtown to the station. As usual, the tollway traffic was lame. We weren’t getting anywhere quickly. The GPS said we were set to arrive around 7:50…well that’s not good considering we were supposed to be there at 7:30. We had talked to the producer the day before and she had said that we could get there at 7:30 so that the boys (Kiptin and his brothers) could get a tour of the studio and see where everything was, how it works, etc., in hopes that
Kiptin we would feel more comfortable before we were actually on camera.
Oh and get this. The producer mentioned that there would be a make-up artist. Excuse me, what? This is getting fancy. She said to come with light make up on and then the make-up artist would do their thing and get it “HD ready”. Well okay then.
So we’re stuck in traffic…Danny called and was giving me a hard time for not leaving earlier…and well, at this point, there was nothing we could do but hope that we weren’t late. When I was getting ready earlier that morning, I went ahead and did my normal make-up because I was too nervous the thing with the make-up artist would fall through and then I’d be on TV looking like an albino ghost. (Stop and picture that for a second.) So yah, I did my make-up.
By the grace of God, at about 7:25, traffic cleared up and we made it within the next ten minutes. We pulled up at the same time as the Fitzgerald’s. Phew. Those boys (all 4 of them) got out of the car and oh.my.word. were they precious! Their hair was done and they just looked so darn cute. Kiptin, who always wears athletic shorts and t-shirts was in khaki pants, a button up shirt, and bright red converse. This boy. I’m telling you. My heart gets a little closer to exploding every time I see him…and now his hair was even gelled.
Once we walked it, each person had to sign in individually…it kind of felt like we were signing into a prison. We had to be quiet, turn off our phones, wear a badge, and write the time we signed in. Yikes.
The security guard walked us back and showed us around. We got to see different accolades the station had received, pictures of different anchors (past and present), and a lot of different history about the station. Then he walked us around where we saw some of the offices and desks of some behind the scenes people…and then, I realized that this is where I’m supposed to be working. Y’all. The vending machine was heavenly. It had Hot Tamales, Haribo Gummy Bears, Sour Patch Watermelons…the list goes on. It was like my dream. I think it was fate. (Fox 4–do y’all have any openings? I’m a hard worker and I’m fun to be around…I’m organized too, that’s a plus.)
Lauren Pryzbyl posted this early in the morning…
We got to watch Chip Waggoner do the traffic report. Man. I just don’t get the green screen. I would be a hot mess standing in front of a blank screen moving my hands around like pointing to “hot spots” and accidents. He said that after our segment, I could come back and practice…lucky for him, I got distracted and forgot. Chip, I’ll be back…and I’m going to learn how to master the green screen.
Then they took us to the part of the set where Lauren Pryzbyl (more about her in a minute) and Tim were live. Several thoughts here:
- Yes, Lauren Pryzbyl is just as gorgeous in person as she looks on TV. But you know what? Not only is she beautiful, she is genuine. She is down to earth and so incredibly personable. And, she teared up when she started talking to us when she was quoting a line from my blog…a crier…a girl after my own heart. I had no idea what to expect before meeting her…but man, even if I had had high expectations, she would have exceeded them without a doubt. She had a way of making each of us feel comfortable…which was nice considering I was feeling pretty confident I might wet my pants before we walked in.
- Tim Ryan is just as funny in person as he is on TV. He is real. He is honest. I love it. We didn’t get interact with him much, but when we did, he was fantastic. He and Lauren are fantastic together.
- Every single person we met while we were there, especially the people who helped us get situation, mic’d up, etc., was incredible (I know I’ve used that word a lot…I need to pull out the thesaurus.). They were all so personable and so welcoming. They may us feel like they were genuinely glad we were there. More than anything, they made Kiptin feel like he was a little hero…and he is. I’m pretty sure he felt like he was on top of the world walking through that place.
Okay, now that those thoughts are out of the way, let me continue. Once we got back to where Good Day was being filmed, a very nice man got us all situated in out chairs, got us mic’d up, and told us the order of how things would go. HOLD UP.
Colleen and I looked at each other and said, “Wait, where’s the make-up?!” It was a good thing we did our own make-up otherwise we would have been in trouble. I’m not sure what happened…but we totally skipped over the whole make-up artist thing and went straight to preparing for the segment. Let me just say this–Thank you, God, for looking’ out and speaking to me this morning and telling me to go ahead and do my make-up. We would have had a serious problem if I rolled out of bed in hopes of meeting with the make-up artist. Phew. Look at my God, He’s always lookin’ out.
Time seemed to be passing quickly as we were getting ready. We were able to watch Lauren and Tim do several news stories, go to commercial, etc. And before we knew it, they were counting down from 5…and we were live. Holy smokes. This whole time we were worried about if Kiptin was going to actually talk on camera…when I’m not sure I could have told you my name and date of birth when the cameras started.
Like I said, Lauren was amazing. She made us so comfortable and it felt like we were just having a normal conversation…until I had to talk. I’m cool with talking in front of people…but like I said…when I talk about the love I have for that little boy, I.just.can’t.do.it. I was going strong…and then the tears came. Fortunately, they had put a picture on the screen at the time, so you couldn’t see me crying…but you could for sure hear it in my voice. I’ll take it. No ugly crying on TV. Not for this girl.
Let me just say, my favorite moment from the whole entire day was when Lauren asked Kiptin a question and he looked at his mom and whispered, “Can I say it now?” Ah! I just wanted to go squeeze him. He’s the cutest. He did SO good. We were all shocked and so thankful that he was open and responded so well to Lauren.
Several minutes went by and it was done. Phew. Not too traumatic. I wish I could have gotten through it without any tears…but that would have been way too uncharacteristic for me.
During the segment, Kiptin and Colleen mentioned that they are still open for taking orders…and immediately, the orders started
coming pouring in. All.Day.Long.
Here are some pictures from the day. Once we were done at the station, we granted Kiptin his “wish” of having lunch together. (I mean, really? He.is.perfect.) He requested McDonalds, but we vetoed and went to Breadwinners because…well, it’s Breadwinners and it’s a-ma-zing.
A lot of classes watched the segment live on projectors in the classroom…how awesome is that? Some classes throughout the district watched, too. My cousins, who are both teachers, watched with their classes. Friends of mine who are teachers, watched it with their kiddos. Kiddos of all ages got to see how a 6 year old is on his way to change the world. How incredible.
After breakfast, I headed up to school for the rest of the afternoon. I’ve said it before…that place is good for my soul. I was able to hug so many people that I love. I got to see/hug some of my old kiddos and man, it was good for my heart.
I hate attention. I don’t like attention being called to myself. I’m okay if no one sees me. Well heck. Today, I felt like a celebrity. It was super uncomfortable, but so neat at the same time. I sat in the front office all day, so when kids walked by, they could see me in the windows…and oh my! You would have a someone famous (say…Ellen or Monica Potter) was in there. 😉 The kids jumped up and down, waved their arms and yelled my name. It was the sweetest thing. For a moment, I forgot I was bald. They looked at me like it was the old me…the me they were used to.
And then, Lauren tweeted this. I told you, she’s amazing.
Here’s the link if you weren’t able to watch it. Good Day Cookie Segment
If you take anything from it, take this: Spread kindness. Do something kind for someone else. A little kindness goes a long way…and Lord knows we need all the kindness we can get in the world today. Be a Kiptin. Be a Kiptin in a world of Negative Nancys (no offense if your name is Nancy). If a 6 year old can shine such a bright light…can’t we all?
Thank you, Fox 4 Good Day, from the bottom of my heart for having us on to share our story. My hope is that someone will be blessed by this story and will be inspired to spread kindness…and that kindness will spread like wildfire. A fire that won’t be able to be put out.
And finally, my favorite picture of the day.
I feel like this picture is a perfect representation of our day. One little person, who had an idea. An idea that would touch his teacher’s heart in a way she’ll never be able to fully express.
And then there’s a teacher…a teacher who loved this little boy and believed in him from the moment she met him. A teacher who did everything in her power to get him to believe that HE was enough. And that he had what it takes to change the world with even just a little bit of kindness…and that, that was all before she was even diagnosed with cancer.
Imagine where these two will go now. Spread kindness.
Kiptin Ryan Fitzgerald…you, my sweet boy, are a gem.