November 15, 2021

It’s my youngest daughter’s birthday today. I can’t believe she’s a legit grownup woman because I still see this little girl when I think of her. Look at that smile.

She’s always been such a joy to be around—happy, loving, and smart. She is also generous and has a real heart for other people. Even as a young kid, she would stand up for anyone she thought was being picked on or treated unfairly. As she got older, she continued to look out for her friends, becoming the one others could count on for sound advice and support.

She’s also always been very independent and strong in her convictions. I’m so proud of the lovely person she is and always has been. And she still has that beautiful smile.

July 10, 2021

Well, I’m the worst. Emma and I spent most of today together, and once again, I took NO photos. What the actual heck. My excuse is that we were having too much fun to think about it.

We went antiquing and planned to have lunch at a winery in the country, but it was packed with people when we got there. We drove in, saw everyone outside, and drove back out and found a different lunch spot. We finished the day by getting her snacks for her drive back home tomorrow and then having a hard cider out on the deck until it started to rain.

I’m so grateful to have been able to spend some time with her this week since I’m not sure when we will see each other in person again.

March 6

I was searching through a box of papers and things at home the other day and ran across some old photos. I’m so easily distracted when it comes to stuff like that, so I took a few minutes just to look through them and remember the moments when they were taken. One was of my youngest in one of her favorite outfits. It was a pink shirt with ruffled edges and a set of matching pants that had a tutu sewn at the top. I distinctly remember the day the picture was taken. I was dropping her off at the baby sitter’s house, a retired woman who loved my kids like they were her own grandkids. She oohed and aahed over this outfit and immediately insisted on taking a photo. But Emma was already distracted, off dancing and twirling in the living room. It took a bit of coaxing to get her to stand still, even for a moment. Later, after getting a copy of the picture, I wrote the following poem. Now that my kids are older, I’m thankful that I have some of these tidbits of the past to remind me of the magic of their growing up.

She fidgets in the imposed restriction
back against the wall,
fingers dance along the eggshell satin sheen,
whole body poised for escape.
Pink sleeves hang over hands,
crinkled netting floats around hips,
bare toes curl and uncurl into deep carpet.
Smile little dancer.
And she pauses,
Bambi blues open wide,
new teeth proudly display themselves
as she coyly complies.
Quickly the camera freezes her form
onto paper for those who don’t want to forget,
and she darts, twirls away, lost again
in the musical world of a one-year-old.

Day Four

I mentioned The Walking Dead in my last post. I got hooked on that tv show after several friends had the same reaction when I admitted I hadn’t seen it. Oh my gosh! You’ve not seen it yet?? You HAVE to watch it; you will be hooked! So I watched it. And I was hooked. If you haven’t seen it yet, go to TLC and check it out. It’s odd for me, actually, because I absolutely hate slasher-type horror movies. In fact, I normally shy away from anything too violent. However, I find the show to be more about the human spirit than about death. To me, the human spirit is always intriguing.

Tonight my daughter Emma and I watched World War Z, another zombie movie. Only in this one, the zombies are a hundred times more frightening, at least they were to the two of us huddled in the dark. We clutched hands and yelled at the same moments, then laughed at our own reactions. We talked periodically about what we’d do if we were there in whatever was happening at the moment. At one point, my daughter said, “Yeah, this is probably where I would just give up.” And I’ve been thinking about that. Would she? Would I? Confronted with something terrifying and potentially life-ending, would we just sit down and wait to be eaten alive?

I’m almost 100% sure the answer is no–for both of us. Truth is, we’re both a bit scrappy and hard headed. Faced with a crisis, we’d fight our way out. More importantly, we’d fight not just for ourselves, but for others too. We’d be on Rick’s team or Gerry’s team and not because they’re both hunky (although that doesn’t hurt). We’d fight with them because they are fighting for more than their own survival. At sixteen, Emma has already proven herself to be more “other” focused than self-absorbed. She’s always marched to her own drummer and stood up for the under-dog, though. I’m sure her name will pop up again in future posts because I have some good stories on her. But tonight I’m thankful to be reminded me of that.

In the zombie apocalypse, I’d want Emma on my team. Who would be on yours?