Ten years ago and about eight months ago, I remember feeling nauseous and patting my stomach, saying, "Come on, Emmeline. I know you're in there." I'd had her name all picked out for years -- it was my grandmother's grandmother's name, one Emmaline Cree, born August 16 (my own birthday) in the 1800s in Sailor Springs, Indiana. Naturally, when I found out that my due date was August 16, too, I felt obliged to honor this connection with my ancestor and made a slight update to the spelling of her name, ready to welcome the reincarnation of dear Emmaline.
Well, my Emmeline had ideas of her own. She waited and cooked and hung out until August 19th, sidestepping other family birthdays on the 16th and 18th, choosing her own day to be born (but still within the August Leo zodiac dates, a family tradition). After all of the care I took to choose her name and link her to my own family history, she prefers to be called by her nickname Emme, which suits her sunny, funny personality even better. And for her birthday, she chose to be surrounded by just two of her best friends, her sister Serena and me, going on a late afternoon trail ride up Old Topanga Road.
I should be sadder about my oldest child turning double-digits, but look at this kid. She is so happy and growing up so beautifully... how could I hold her back, even if I wanted to??
Happy Birthday, Emme!!