To my Z, on graduating 8th grade.

My Sweet Girl,

I am so very proud of you. You continually amaze me with your intelligence, curiosity, and innate strength.

I am astounded by your natural instincts to question, research, and learn. You are a voracious reader, devouring topics ranging from business to manga to sociology.

Just hearing your laugh triggers me to giggle; I have laughed so hard with you that I’ve cried. Silly, zany Zoe, my happy baby, even at nearly 13.

You often ask me in the morning, “Are you excited?” That sometimes leaves me befuddled. Excited for… what, exactly? But yes, I am- at least I will be as the day proceeds, and I get to spend more time with you.

You capture life with camera phones, and create life through words shaped into poems on your website. You use technology to tap into historical forms of art. Piano lessons with Ms. Heather, then mood music in Garage Band. Watercolors with Ms. Kelly, then painting with Ibis on your iPad.

Plushies, Canadian goons, bobba, Thai curry puffs, Meteorology and manis, you are ever faster, stronger. The past decade has been so very heavy, it’s made me harder. But because of you, I am so much better.

Happy Graduation, My Love.

P.S. Keep God first, and remember, there’s always money in the banana stand.

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