I must confess, I’ve never really met anyone famous outside of the circle of Christian authors and home school speakers. So I apologize if mine isn’t as exciting as some of you all’s. This is a story about a time I had tea with some ‘famous’ authors and speakers. Enjoy! 🙂
Famous – the word has different connotations to different people. To some, it is thrilling; to others, it is intimidating; and there is yet another class that is more find the term more or less contemptible. They cannot see why one person should be any more important than another. Personally, I find I am an amalgam of the three groups. While I am both excited and a little daunted by fame, I have a sort curious, “And they are a regular old person just like me!” approach to renowned individuals. Though I have never met anyone who is world-famous, these feelings all came together at a certain tea party when I was eleven years old.
In 2009, my father took me and my seven-year-old sister, Laura, to Vision Forum’s retreat for fathers and daughters at the end of March (back before the organization fell apart 😦 ). The retreat was hosted at the beautiful Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia, not too far from Atlanta. In addition to the speakers, there were a few fun activities planned: some outdoor games (although these got rained out that year 😦 ), a picnic, an ice cream social, and a Victorian tea. For this last one, all the girls and dads dressed up, had tea in china teacups, and lunched on chocolate-covered strawberries and other dainties. This was the thing my sister and I were most looking forward to.
Part of the information we were handed when we arrived was a list that told which you the numbered table at which you were sitting. Laura and I sat with Dad in the hotel lobby Friday afternoon as he scanned the list for our name, number, and the names of others who would be sitting at our table. “Oh my!” he gasped.
“What, Daddy?” Laura and I asked, interestedly.
“We’re at the same table as the Botkins!” he explained.
Geoffrey Botkin and his daughters, Anna Sofia and Elizabeth, were some of the speakers at the event. The father was a leader in these circles of visionary families, and the girls had written a book when they were seventeen and nineteen called So Much More, a call to daughters to advance God’s kingdom in their culture. Nervousness and excitement tingled through me, even though I did not quite comprehend the situation as well as Dad since I was only eleven. I wondered what these people would be like.
The next day, Laura and I squirmed impatiently in our seats. After a long morning of various speakers, the question and answer session was running over schedule. Finally, it was wrapped up and we were dismissed for the tea. We found our table and sat down. There was another dad and his three daughters there in addition to the Botkins. The waiters brought out the tea and sweets, and the Victorian tea began.
As it went on, I observed these ‘famous people’. They were seemed pretty nice and normal. Elizabeth was talking to the girl next to her, the oldest of the other three daughters, about college and peer pressure. Anna Sofia was next to Laura, and I heard her telling my sister about her brothers’ pet snake. They were just regular people with regular families, I realized – brothers and all. They had a collection of wisdom that they were glad to share, and yet they could carry on a simple conversation with a seven-year-old just as easily and unaffectedly.
The first and third pictures on this post are mine. Please don’t steal! 🙂