We named Emily after a soap opera character, only mom thought Emma sounded like an old lady’s name. We were up to six children by then, and people kept asking mom and dad why they kept going. They replied that two boys are better than one and they would have to keep trying. Never mind that their five girls were pretty awesome, and why not add more awesomeness to the world?
Emily missed out on the tractor. I think she was born without the farming bone that we all inherited. Instead she was deemed queen of the kitchen. She would watch the other little ones and make supper (the best ones involved biscuits) whenever we came home to eat. She never refused to work outside, but her disposition was better put to use elsewhere.
My mom watched our neighbor’s kids–three of them–and we older three girls left at home tried to lose the younger five all the time. But once in a while we would all get together and convince the younger ones of what was pretty and in style. At that time, big hair was in. Big. Hair. I’m talking five inches or higher in the front. We all got into the spirit of it, eventually. Mom had to take pictures, of course.
We also had games in the living room, jumping from couch to couch around three of the four walls without hardly touching the floor. Yep, we had three couches in one room. When it was nap time, you could find Emily sleeping in her bathing suit (as seen in the above picture) on one of those couches. She would be so excited to get on the bus for swimming lessons, she would sleep in her suit at night as well.
By the time she was in high school, she played four sports. Volleyball and cross country at the same time took a lot of effort, but you could always find her long-distanced ass bounding up and down the hillside three miles from home. I was in college at this time, and I missed out on a lot of the cute little stories I’m sure she would want the entire world to know about. But I did hear the good ones…
Emily was a pious girl, even attending camps and retreats. The biggest scandal I heard about was when she sneaked with a few friends out of the rectory where they were staying. The nuns never found out. But, even better, there was a later rumor about Emily and someone* studying for a higher purpose sharing a secret kiss. *Name left out to protect the not-so-innocent
I remember Emily more after I started teaching. She was a senior by that time. Once I was taking tickets at a basketball game when one of my students introduced his friend from the rivaling team. As I was under 250 pounds, had no wrinkles or gray hair, and taught the most interesting subject in school (English), I was naturally their favorite teacher. As I recognized the other boy’s name, my mind flitted back to Emily’s past boyfriends. I had fun making a point to him. “Oh, yeah. You dated my sister, didn’t you?” He didn’t say very much, just kind of mumbled something like “nice to meet you” and walked away. Apparently she had to break up with him and didn’t like being reminded of how he wasn’t quite the stud he thought.
I fixed her hair that year for prom, too. Her and Kelsie brought their supplies to my house and I spent hours curling and primping her hair, just for it to go straight right after their dinner. Despite my sticky hands, burned fingers, and an ungodly amount of bobby pins, her obtuse hair WOULD NOT stay curly. I saw pictures of her at prom, and she fortunately could pull off any look since she is so pretty.
Within the last few years, Emily has gone through a lot of changes. Marriage, motherhood, career change. Power to her, though. I couldn’t run a daycare. If anyone in my family could, though, it would be Emily.
Oh, and thanks for the pizza dough recipe, Emily. It’s got to be one of my best meals that I make.