Friday, January 20, 2012


Today is my daughter Emily's 19th birthday. So, as I've been doing for family members this past year, I'm profiling her for this special day.

If you didn't know Emily's birth story before, here it is, briefly: Since Melissa had arrived a week before her due date, I was all set for the same from this second baby. Her due date was Jan. 10. I expected her any time from Christmas on. But no, Emily has never been one to get anything done early, so she arrived in her own good time, ten days after her due date. We had gone to the mall to walk around, hoping some activity might encourage labor, and boy, did it. I was afraid I might have to give birth is the bedding department at Penneys. But we made it home and the midwife arrived just in time to tell me I could push. Three or four pushes, and out she came. Sadly, my grandmother died that same day, and I truly think their spirits passed somewhere along the way.

Emily lulled us into thinking she was going to be an easy going baby, because she was for the first few weeks. Then she started speaking her mind. Man that baby could scream a blue streak. Her Granny announced she was certain Emily had a future as an opera singer with the set of lungs she seemed to possess.

As she grew into a toddler, Emily could vie for the champion of tantrum throwers. I am not kidding, that kid could scream.

Emily was fast friends with our next door neighbor, Kathryn, who is a year younger, for much of their early childhood. When it was time for school, though, they found new friends, but they've always maintained those memories.

I'll never forget when Emily learned to read. It was some silly fairy book series that she loved. But soon, it was everything under the sun. Emily read literally all the time. Fantasy was her favorite. She loved Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Guardians of Ga'houl, and the Dark Materials series. She also got into anime and graphic novels.

One of the turning points for Emily was skipping 8th grade. When she found herself in a new set of peers, she blossomed and was so much happier.

School has mostly been a breeze for this brilliant young lady. I don't think most people realize just how smart she is, because she doesn't talk about it much, nor does she talk about academic stuff much. In junior high when she had earth science, she fell in love with astronomy and ever since has seen her future in space.

Her quiet brilliance has manifested in many ways. Emily is a fabulous author of several novels, mostly dystopic fantasy. She plays a mean piano sonatina, and has written several very soulful and emotive piano pieces. Having Heidi Decoursey Clark as her piano teacher was one of the best things in her adolescent life, I think.

Emily's personality is characterized by her loyal friendships and caring demeanor. She has never tolerated unfairness in any form, whether it affected her or others. She loves animals. And when a neighbor spoke to me once about potentially cutting down a tree that was always one of her special places, she would not allow it.

Emily and I have been through a lot together, and she has always known that I am her advocate in all ways. I helped her navigate many a difficult time, and it has made me a more compassionate, considerate person as a result. Her presence in my life has given me great joy, many challenges, and always a deep love.

Watch out world, because the meek shall inherit the earth, but the Emily shall rule space. I fully expect her to be out there founding new colonies on the moon or on Mars someday.

She is a brilliant, beautiful, kind, caring, funny, thoughtful girl. And hearing her laugh just makes my day. (Thankfully, screams are a rarity now.)

Happy Birthday my little capriquarius.

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