I recently attended a Children's Literature Festival at the local university. This was my second year to attend, but I almost didn't go. The week before, I debated. I was only familiar with one author/illustrator who was going to be there, but it was a passing familiarity. It was an 8 hour event - 8 hours that could have been spent on other home or school projects that are more pressing. It was an 8 hour even that started at 8am on a Saturday morning - the one day I can usually sleep in.
But, as my husband reminded me, I made a commitment to go. Chances were good that I would enjoy myself once I got there. And I did. The one factor I didn't think of in all of my debating is how seldom I get to be with other people who are as passionate about children's literature as I am. The closest I get is an occasional conversation with a parent who is looking for reading material for their kids or a student who really liked the last book they read. I live for those conversations in my week. But I don't have a lot of people in my circle of relationships who care about when the next Percy Jackson book comes out (October 2nd) or who know who Mo Willems is.
But the people at this conference were MY people. I sat by a friend from church, and we had a delightful conversation about her kids' reading habits. I met a children's librarian at lunch who told me about the last three books she loved (Wonder, Crunch, and another title I can't remember). In the afternoon session, I spied another librarian reading a book from my TBR pile (To Be Read). Talking about that book led to a conversation about the second book she packed (in case the conference was lame - she originally had 4 in her hand to bring along, but she settled on just 2 - a woman after my own heart) which reminded me of another book which she put on her reading list.
It was delightful.