Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Amazing Grace

By Cornelia

Please excuse a very proud mom's ramblings this morning:

Tomorrow morning, the young lady above will be graduating from the eighth grade. This was taken about thirteen years ago on her grandmother's porch in Portland, Maine.

She's worked very hard at school, but she started her own education at home in Manhattan, with a pronounced fondness for great literature, such as Pat the Bunny.

I think it was around the age below that she uttered her first sentence, in Boulder, Colorado:

Sadly for her mother, the sentence was "Mummie farted." Given the gales of laughter that followed her initial utterance of those two words, she repeated them a rather large number of times over the next several days.

It was around the age above that she began to sing the Alphabet Song. For a while, the lyrics were "A B C D E E E, E-E E-E E-E EEEEEEEE." Her record time without pause was an hour and a half in the back of the car, on the way to pick up her dad at the Denver airport during a snowstorm.

It was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that she formally began school. This was after she'd taught herself to read at age four, halfway through Treasure Island with her dad.

The first book she read alone was this one, about a week later:

After that, she learned a bit of attitude:

And discovered fashion, especially gold lame and pearls:

We then moved to California, where she went to a very small school for the first three years:

There she discovered her love of math and science. I am including the picture of her dissecting a pumpkin, because the one of her dissecting a cow's eyeball is too gross for me:

For the last three years, she's gone to a small middle school and worked very, very hard at all kinds of academic things.

And all kinds of extra-curricular things (such as a visit to Ben & Jerry's in Vermont):

Last summer in the Adirondacks, she caught her first trout:

And learned to disguise herself as a deer:

Somehow, she's grown up a great deal in the last year:

Next year she will be going to school in New Hampshire:

I wish for her that it will be a gateway to a wonderful life, because she's truly a wonderful kid:

When it gets cold back east, I hope she will listen to this, to remember home:

We are so proud of you, dear Grace!

In other news: Robert Gregory Browne and Brett Battles are venturing into the podcast
world. They've started a series of talks about writing, which, in the near future, will also include interviews with other authors and publishing industry professionals. Their first podcast on writing characters is now up. You can find it here:


  1. Beautiful girl, Cornelia!!

  2. Congratulations to you, and condolences to Grace, for having a mom with a blog (my mom just leaves anonymous comments on mine).
    On a related note, I just gave one of my friends "Pat the Bunny" as part of her baby shower gift last weekend (along with "Goodnight Moon" and "Courduroy". Gotta get the kid started off right.)

  3. You have every reason to be proud, Cornelia! Congratulations on a "job" well done!


  4. She is a work of art. Which, by the way, rhymes with fart. As in her first sentence.

    I'm a writer, I see those things.


  5. Yay, Grace! She is both beautiful and brilliant, and I'm so, so happy for her and for you....

  6. I still say she should go out for Ultimate Frisbee at Exeter. Congratulations, Grace!

  7. You guys are wonderful! Thank you so much for the nice comments. I will pass them along to the soon-to-be-graduate kid herself.

  8. God, they grow up so fast and do well in spite of us.

    Congratulations to both of you.

    Now, if you'll please turn your head, I have something in my eye.

  9. Beauty, brains, and attitude. That girl's gonna rule the world someday.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Hmmm Sorry about deleting myself. I was just wondering what the trash thing was for.

    But what I said was that you created a wonderful tribute to your daughter, Cornelia! Congratulations and good luck to Grace on her journey into high school!

  12. One of the great all-time posts.

    Ooh, you're gonna miss Grace when she's away at school!

  13. Congratulations to Grace and to you, Ms. C. What a wonderful adventure it will be at her new school. We'll be here to hold your hand if you get lonely...

  14. Great photos and story! You remind me (not that I really need it) how great it is to be a dad.

    (and thanks for the plug!)

  15. She's a beautiful young lady, Cornelia - and a tribute to her smart mum. Congratulations to both of you. :-D

    Big hugs for mum who will miss her sooner than she thinks. :-D


  16. Cornelia, what a great tribute, to you and her. Congratulations, Grace! Your name suits you.

  17. Hola everybody, this is Grace herself. :) Thanks for all the spiffy comments, and WHY DID SHE HAVE TO PUT THE PICTURES ON? My mother appears to have a talent for picking all my least favorite pictures. Oh well, tis the fate of every teen. And I guess it means my mom's doing a good job (embarrassing me by showing baby pictures to the world, cracking jokes about me, being illogically proud). Thanks everyone!

  18. I SO cannot believee that's Grace in those recent pictures. I mean I haven't met her but I've seen pictures of her since I met YOu, sweetie, and the difference in those couple years is a-frakking-mazing! She looks so cool and so adult and oh my god so not what we all remember (if I may speak for a bunch of us?) ourselves at the end of 8th grade.
    Grace? Hey herself! Just remember how much worse it coulda been. Every mother has those cute widdle "nekkid baby" pictures right? I know, you woulda disowned her if she'd done that.
    Mazel tov to you - I hope Phillips is ready for you. I have no doubt you'll be ready for them.

  19. Grace, you were an incredibly photogenic child. I know, I swiped one of your girl photos *blush* because it would make a wonderful painting (I'm an artist) if I ever got around to it. Sorry Cornelia.

    You'll live up to your name, Grace, and go far in life. Good luck.


  20. Everyone should be so blessed, not only to have such a wonderful daughter, but with equally wonderful mother as well.

  21. Congrats to a very beautiful girl and to her proud mum! And it's a lovely way of marking the occasion. All Grace has to remember is that mothers corner the market in embarrassing photos. I'm sure mine still has the bare arse on the beach ones!

  22. Cornelia and Grace, it really chokes me up to see this photo spread. Has it really been so long since I saw Grace? Cue "Sunrise, Sunset." I remember the laughing little girl with a whalespout of hair who could already do math problems in her head that still have me stumped. What a beautiful tribute. Congratulations to both of you. Grace, you do your mother proud. Love, Ariel

  23. Dear Grace,

    You are so right. The jokes were embarrassing, the pictures were humiliating, and the entire Proud Mama blog must have totally mortified you. That’s what you get for saying “Mummie farted.” It took her twelve years, but she finally gotcha. Payback’s a bitch, kid.

    Congratulations on that graduation thing.