This is a long email. The short of it is - I emailed Brennan's favorite author's publishing company. They forwarded my email about Brennan to the author who responded to me and then sent Brennan a belated birthday package!
Brennan loves the math author Theoni Pappas. It started when David bought "The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat" and "Fractals and Googols" a year or so ago. Brennan picked them up this fall and his full-fledged love of math began. Math is explained via Ms. Pappas' real-life cat Penrose. Here he is with some of his favorites.
Before the holidays I asked the boys to add some books and toys to my amazon.com wish list. Since all of our family is out of state, it's easier for everyone to have some ideas for the gift giving season. Thomas added the usual (Nintendo DS games, Wii games, Legos), and Brennan added - every single one of the Theoni Pappas books that he didn't already have. That's it. That's all he really wanted.
Here's one of his many letters to Santa that I "mailed" for him. I did a terrible job scanning it so let me tell you what it says. "Dear Santa, I want all of the Theoni Pappas kids books. And one of those mind control games and a new Wii game (surprise me). Brennan"
I'm sure our family and friends were THRILLED to pick out math books (many of them written for adults, not 7-almost-8 year olds). But, he got more Theoni Pappas books for Christmas and he was thrilled. Then for his birthday - same wish. Just the rest of the Theoni Pappas books please.
Before Brennan's birthday, we had math on the brain with his request for a chocolate math cake and all. On a whim I looked up the publisher for her books and sent an email to Ms. Pappas, asking the publishing company to forward it to her. To my great surprise, she responded a few days later! She was touched that her books are so well-liked and asked for our address to send Brennan a belated birthday gift.
I knew David would think I was crazy for having written her, but as soon as he woke up I told him about her response. He couldn't believe it. But to tell Brennan? Ms. Pappas might forget about the gift or it may be a month before she had time to send it. I didn't want his little heart breaking every time the mail came. So we didn't tell him for several days. And then I couldn't help it and I told him the whole story. He couldn't believe it! He was so excited. Theoni Pappas is a name discussed daily in our home. And she had sent him an email! And she might send Brennan a birthday gift? NO WAY!!!
Just a couple of days later, a package arrived. Brennan could NOT contain himself.
Blurry photo of the book she sent and signed. It says "Brennan Hope you enjoy this book. Best wishes, Theoni Pappas"
"Dear Brennan - Penrose and I want to wish you a belated Happy Birthday!!! Penrose sends you some of his stickers and buttons to share. Best Wishes, Theoni Pappas and Penrose"
Brennan has worn a Penrose button since the package came. Of course, he also had to wear some of the stickers! (He's 8 you know)
A HUGE thank you to Ms. Pappas. It means so much to a child to know that someone who is so important to him thinks he's special. I'll treasure her email to our family and Brennan's reactions forever.