Meet and Greet
You may have noticed that I’ve been a little preoccupied lately. Just two weeks into my new job, my boss let me know that I would be in charge of a Meet and Greet event with the Secretary of State. So, no pressure, then!
A visit of this magnitude requires all hands on deck, and an incredible amount of effort and organization. The Secretary has a very full schedule with lots of important bilateral meetings and discussions. But she also likes to take the time to thank the people who work in the Embassies and Consulates all around the world. Yesterday was the turn of Consulate Johannesburg.
My little part lasted for only 20 minutes, but it took hours of arranging things to be just right. Inevitably, some things went wrong leading up to the event, some things went wrong on the night, but all in all, it was amazing!
I’ve long been an admirer of Hillary Clinton. This wasn’t the first time I’d been in the same room as her, but it was our first official meeting. She was graceful and commanding, intelligent and inspirational- everything I’d hoped she would be.
The kids, however, were not so much into the whole thing. I’d written a social story- I hadn’t been able to find one about meeting a Secretary of State or former First Lady!
Pudding got a little pensive. I think she was wondering why somebody was getting more attention than her for once. As she got closer, Pudding found things really hard to handle, instead of posing for photographs, she knew she had to get out of the way. But she did allow Secretary Clinton to touch her face, which is huge! I liked to think she was perhaps inspired by Hillary Clinton. And when Pudding took her turn on the stage, it didn’t seem quite so audacious that we might be looking at the first female, autistic and foreign-born President. Sure, those are some barriers, but I wouldn’t be betting against Pudding.
Cubby was also a little bashful, but The Secretary declared him adorable as he handed her a bunch of flowers. He wasn’t going to stick around to pose for the official photographer. And he let her stroke his cheek as well without having a meltdown. I’m hoping that there might be a better photograph than this one out there- time will tell!
It was the experience of a lifetime. In fact, those 20 minutes felt like a lifetime! But what an honor to be part of it, and I’m sure one day the kids will look back on this day too. If not, I’ll always have these photographs to show them.