The phone rings as I'm reading a bedtime story to the girls. I hear Joel from the other room. "Yes, okay, of course. I'll get her."
He holds the phone toward me.
"Who is it?" I whisper.
"It's some guy with CNN."
As if I get calls from CNN all the time, I nod and reach for the extended phone as I'm lying between the girls in Reese's bed. He hands it over, a curious look on his face, and lingers in the doorway until I hang up.
"Well?" he asks.
I bide my time and turn the page. Reese and Brooke are impatient for me to finish the story.
"That was just CNN." I'm playing cool, but milking the suspense for all it's worth.
"I'm aware of that. What did they want?"
"Oh, you know, a producer with HLN contacted me after finding my blog. He wanted to know if I'd be interested in doing a small piece for Father's Day."
He nods, clearly not ready to accept that synopsis as the full story.
"And?" he draws the word out.
I balk. I never keep secrets from Joel, but I had been harboring this one for a month, determined to keep it under wraps despite itching to hash it out. "This was all supposed to be a surprise."
He looks at me incredulously. "I'm already pretty surprised."
So, I spill the story, underpinning it with frequent disclaimers like "It's only 25 seconds" and "There's no way I could possibly say everything about you in that short of a time span." I finish the long-winded explanation. Joel is silent for a moment.
"So, I'm going to be on television for Father's Day?" He pauses. "Wow, Robin. That's amazing. Thank you."
It still doesn't do him justice, but it's a more unique gift than just a new polo, is it not?
A very special thanks to Grayson Thagard, web producer for Morning Express with Robin Meade on HLN, who graciously arranged this opportunity. Be sure to check out their website for more.