The other weekend we dragged the kids into Wild Rumpus, our local independent bookstore, for their first book signing. However, this was not your regular old signing. This was Chris Monroe, the writer and illustrator of the Chico Bon Bon, Monkey with a Tool Belt children’s books. This Duluth native has been this family’s #1 author since receiving our first book from Grandpa Mac in Seattle. We’ve become so close to the little monkey, that “Chico” is now the most commonly used nickname for both boys (“Chicos, we’re running late!!” is often heard throughout our home).
With Ollie just getting over a five day flu and Emmett a bit stranger shy I knew it would be an interesting meeting. Surprisingly, the kids were pretty taken by Chris who was very thoughtful and engaged with the boys. One unique difference between the Chico Bon Bon books vs. other children’s books is Chris handwrites the stories herself which means her inscriptions are similar to the words and letters used throughout her books. Emmett thought this was way cool especially when he noticed his own name in the book!
To me it was a simple reminder of the importance of our signatures. Not only is our handwriting unique but our signature identifies the individual human. I’ll never forget the first time I signed a note to Emmett from Mom. Complete chills ran throughout my body. And, of course, for some of us writing our newly married name on a marriage certificate is the ulitmate breath stopper. With the arrival of internet billing and online correspondence many of us of aren’t signing our names as often or as legibly as we used to (here’s looking at you dad).
Some signatures, like Mickey Mouse’s, never change. I’m completely serious. His writing has stayed exactly the same over the years. Last month Emmett, my mom and I spent a long weekend visiting the “big cheese” in Disney World. One morning we were entertained during a character breakfast by a bunch of kids (all with ears on their heads) patiently waiting for Mickey and friends to arrive at their table, pose for a picture and sign their autograph book!! It was all business and I could not have been more tickled. To not only observe the excitement of children meeting a magical friend but to hold such enthusiasm over a signature was a rare site to see. Luckily Em’s teacher handed him a travel journal before leaving which was perfect to capture signatures and more memories.
Lastly, you either love her or don’t (I’m the former, Nick the later) but when I noticed Gwyneth Paltrow’s recent cookbook, My Father’s Daughter, was being sold on One Kings Lane which included her autograph I had to have it. However, when the cookbook arrived I was little disappointed. Instead of her signature written directly inside the book it was written on a sticky note which the new owner assumed to insert him or herself. That’s what you get with superstars I guess.
So be it Chris Monroe, Mickey Mouse or Gwyneth, let’s keep up the beauty of our one-of-a-kind signatures. They’re here to stay.