Sunday, November 30, 2014

My Only Daughter . . .

. . . is sixteen today.

In her honor (and because my book is due before the workday starts in New York tomorrow and I don't have the emotional ability to write something new), I am posting a list I made for her twelfth birthday to read at a sixth-grade class party. With a few contemporary comments.

Love you, Emma Cate!

Twelve Things You Should Know About Emma

  1. Emma would rather read than eat. Or sleep. Or possibly even breathe.
  2. Emma is the most enthusiastic writer I know. And I know a lot of writers. She’s got motivation, she’s got persistence, she’s got a million ideas, and she’s got a voice that’s all hers.
  3. Emma will tell you that she’s lived in the same house her entire life. That is not actually true. We didn’t move into our house in Saratoga Springs until she was ten weeks old. So she’s lived here her entire life—minus ten weeks. (UPDATE: now she has lived in Massachusetts for more than three years. So two houses, minus ten weeks.)
  4. Emma embraces weirdness.
  5. Don’t mess with Harry Potter around Emma. (UPDATE: Still true.)
  6. Or Percy Jackson. (UPDATE: Or Maze Runner.)
  7. Or Artemis Fowl. (UPDATE: Or Agents of Shield. Or Once upon a Time. Or about a dozen other things.)
  8. Every summer for the last three years (WHICH MEANT 2008-2010), Emma has spent a week at Camp Hobe. No doubt you’ve heard her talk about it. It’s one of the good things that came out of her brother’s cancer . . . going to a camp where other kids her age either have cancer or have a sibling that has. Plus, the cute cute counselors don’t hurt.
  9. Last I heard, Emma’s dream is to live in Portland when she grows up so she can go to Powell’s bookstore often. (Yes, she is definitely my daughter.) She also dreams of owning a multi-story restored building in which the first floor is a bakery, the second and third floors are living quarters, and the top floor is a writer’s retreat. (UPDATE: For Portland, read Europe. Not sure about the bakery, though she did make her own brownie cupcakes for her birthday.)
  10. Emma is never, ever apathetic. She is fierce in her emotions. Sometimes that is fabulous . . . and sometimes her brothers run for cover.
  11.  She has three brothers: Matt is a senior in high school, Jake is a freshman, and Spencer is in Mrs. Zito’s class down the hall. Emma used to ask when she would have a sister, but she doesn’t anymore. She has learned to appreciate the wardrobe benefits of being the only girl.
  12.  Emma is our only daughter for one simple reason: Because she’s the best there is. Opinionated and curious and passionate—a believer in dreams and an idealist who wants to do something real in the world. (STILL TRUE!)

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