A snapshot of Lucy, age 11

Photo by Emerald England

Lucy turned 11 last Friday, and what that particular day was a blur for me (it was the start of the SCBWI conference in Los Angeles), the one 11 years ago will probably be the only one of my life that I remember on an hour-by-hour basis, right up to the very minute of her birth. Some memories are written in a different sort of ink.

It was hard being away from Lucy on the actual day of her birthday, but we'd led up to it with a great trip to Disneyland, and her heart's desire--a Casio keyboard for songwriting--was waiting for her under her bed at home.

At one point during the weekend, though, I received a mysterious email that began like this:

"Hey there Lucy,

Thanks for your email, you contacted us at a great time. Right here in our Seattle Studio this Saturday August 13th, we are hosting Nick de Armendi of JLA Talent from Los Angeles..."

I forwarded it onto Adam with an eloquent, "Huh?"

Lucy denies ever contacting a local talent agency. She's utterly convincing about it, something that probably bodes well for her acting career. After talking about it a bit more with Adam, who researched their legitimacy, I wrote back to the company and gave them our actual phone number.

They called back last night. Lucy has an audition scheduled for later this week. They warned us that most kids don't get callbacks. Fine by us. Rejection can be a great teacher.

But the moment I want to remember is this: walking into Lucy's bedroom and finding she'd laid out her audition outfit on her bed--a zebra-striped dress, floral socks, and a tiny (and entirely unnecessary) hot pink training bra. It says everything about who she is and where she is in life, and while that isn't perhaps as momentous as the minute she was born, it's one of those things that make me love her all the more fiercely. It's a moment I want to remember.

We should all go through life eager to put on our best dress, our favorite socks, and some other garment that fully captures our longing. It's the combination of the best parts of us, the stuff we love, and the stuff we hope for that make us who we are.

To watch these moments fills the heart like nothing else.