Memo to Emmy: 72 Months

Emerson!

You're 6! Six. Whole. Years. Old.

Old enough to finally lose your first tooth. With the help of extremely passive aggressive wiggling by Daddy. He initially claimed you wiggled it out yourself with the floss. I came to find out later he actually "helped" by "holding your hand" which was "holding the floss" which means too many quotation marks to actually keep track of.

The Tooth Fairy was very generous. $5 and a My Little Pony plastic figure. And she even let you keep the bloody tooth. Nguyen Nguyen situation.

Your other bottom baby tooth has stubbornly remained in your mouth, shark-like as the permanent tooth has already grown up behind it, wiggly but resolute in not coming out. Every night your dad has a showcase showdown with that tooth and it keeps winning. Probably my fault. At least half a dozen of my baby teeth had to be pulled out by Dr. To when I was a kid. Either they were genetically stubborn like everything else in my DNA, or my parents just had him pull a few out every couple months when we were down in San Jose shopping for Vietnamese food. Never underestimate how much Vietnamese parents love convenience!

At this ripe age, your EQ is off the charts. I know a lot of millennials and management-types who should take a crash course in Emerson-self awareness. Much like you always knew not to repeat bad language, you are intuitive about your friends' feelings, your sister's moods, and the emotions of people around you. 

You're naturally easygoing, curious, and just incredibly pleasant. Rarely do you lose it, and usually if you do, it's because you can't finish something or your sister is on your last nerve. You can do anything. As long as you're properly prepared. You don't like a sudden change or abrupt transition. In short, you are just like Daddy. Except I can still swoop you up and carry you around like a monkey with really long legs.

Your reading comprehension is pretty off the hook. Every night I read a few pages of a Ramona book to you and you read a few pages of an Ivy and Bean book to me. You're picking up some triple digit adding and subtracting and carrying the 1 type math skills thanks to Daddy. I mean, how do math teachers teach complex concepts? I can barely explain how to count backwards to subtract. 

I get to volunteer pretty regularly in your kindergarten class. It's fun to see you speak with confidence in front of the class. You're not the tender chicken nugget you were in preschool and I relish seeing you develop some savvy around your peers. 

You've had to deal with some mean girl stuff already. That's really crazy. But you innately know how to be your own person. You told me the difference between "good ignoring" and "bad ignoring," a concept you came up with yourself. 

You: Bad ignoring is when you ignore people and they're trying to tell you about their family. Good ignoring is when you ignore people if they're not being nice.

My mommy heart soars when you tell me stuff like that. The world is so mean and harsh sometimes and I want to protect you from everything but I know that's impossible and it would weaken you if I did. So when you spout little truths like that, it gives me consolation that you're going to make it, even without me holding your hand every step of the way. As much as I want to be there at the junior high dance holding your hand, or at senior prom, or in your college dorm. Who me? I'm Emmy's mom.

"What happens to a cup when it's been caught by the police? It gets handcupped!"

"What kind of house does a tree live in? A tree house!"

Emmy original jokes. Do you get your knack for laughs from me or your dad? I don't know. He came up with:

"Did you hear the story about the cookie? Eh, nevermind it's crummy." You told me that with perfect comic timing.

You are a terrific big sister. You can cheer up Odessa and stop one of her legendary crying fits in .7 seconds. At first I thought you were being uncharacteristically mean when you went up and starting mimicking her crying. But just as I was telling you not to do that to her, you said, "Mommy I'm making her stop crying," and you turned back to her and sure enough, Odessa started laughing at your wailing face and then she started making screeching noises and howling noises and laughing hysterically when you copied those too. You hacked her tantrum!

Aside from having to ask you a question 17 times because you're in your own La La world sometimes, you're a pretty flawless kid. How that blessing happened is unclear. Oh, maybe because we also have Odessa. Not so easy peasy.


Happy 6th birthday almost a month late. I want to smush you back down and stunt your growth but you won't drink my coffee so I will have to count the few days left that I remain taller than you. I am thankful every day that you're my daughter. Here's to at least 100 more birthdays!

Love you Em Em 

Vicky Nguyen