It was an October night when I got the phone call. I was up reading and picked up the phone. It was Meranda.
“I have some news,” she said.
“Good or bad?”
“Really really good.” I had a feeling it was coming but it was still a delight: “I’m pregnant.”
Oh.My.God. Oh wow oh wow oh wow. “Congratulations! That’s amazing!’ I squealed. We started brainstorming names. Sting Davis? Lisa Simpson Davis? Ralph Wiggum Davis?
One June 21, 2003 Elizabeth Gwendolyn Davis made her debut. She was born at Alta Bates Hospital, scored high on her Apgar, and was one of the beautiful babies I had ever seen. When I first saw her I flashed on a Gilmore Girls when young Lorelai and Christopher see their daughter Rory for the first time. “She’s pretty,” Christopher said, overwhelmed. “She’s perfect,” Lorelai whispered, stunned. I knew how Lorelai felt. Elizabeth was perfect.
Never before had I felt an instant connection to someone. I had it with her; later I would have it with my nephews. I knew I was meant to know this girl and be in her life. Meranda took a picture of us when she was a month old. I was holding her while she looked at the camera, her eyes big. Later that same day, my mother took us to dinner. She held Elizabeth in her arms while “Wonderful One” by Marvin Gaye sang on the jukebox.
She was a peapod for her first Halloween. Later she would be a princess, a fifties girl, Rachel Ray, a witch, a flapper, and Hermoine from the Harry Potter books. She loved the Olivia books and Dr. Seuss. The Wiggles were played often when she was quite young. She used to call Elmo “Melmo” She has traveled to England to visit her great grandmother, and Australia to see her paternal grandparents. She has been selected as Student of the Month for two years running. While giving the certificate of achievement, her teacher said she was intersted in chemistry and wanted to be an actress. She’s already practicing her Oscar speech.
She has learned the world can be unfair. Be it a jerky kid in her class or Harry Potter’s parents being killed by Voldemort. While watching Call The Midwife with her mother, she found out what a prositute was when a young pregnant girl came to the convent to get help. Meranda told her as honestly as she could but age appropriate. This was so much better than the way I learned, which was an episode of Three’s Company when an undercover cop thought Chrissy was a hooker.
She shares my love for the Muppets. We saw the new movie opening day. She also had to explain to me who some of the celebrities were (okay, I don’t know Selena Gomez right away. Don’t hurt me!) I gave her a Kermit for Christmas one year.
She has been promoted to fifth gade. Fourth grade she did amazing projects: She went to Sutter’s Fort and spent the night. All the children had to real life people to know what it was like back then. She played Margaret Reed, a woman who survived the Donner Party. “She really had a hard life,” she told me one night. “Two of her kids died, plus her husband.” She currently loves I Love Lucy and Yours Mine and Ours. Her favorite part in the latter is when Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball go shopping for their eighteen children and end up spending one hundred and twenty-seven dollars for groceries. Dear Lord! They must be rich!
When I published I Woke Up in Love This Morning early last year, I told her I dedicated it to her. “When can I read it?” she asked.
“When you’re ten.”
She looked at her mother. “I have to wait two years to read it?”
Well Darling Girl, today is the day. You’re ten! The teen years are ahead, along with many books to read and movies to see. The world awaits you, wonderful one. Ready, steady, go.
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries