Oh, the sweet letter E.
The letter E.
Emma. No name will make me smile at the thought. It’s the name that gave me the name “mom.”
I met her May 24, 2006. It’s hard to believe she’s 10. It’s hard to believe she’s any age other than the little 6 pound, 4 ounce baby burrito handed to me.
I can’t imagine a world without Emma but there was a time when she didn’t exist. It’s funny to talk to her about that former life. She makes me feel old. Old, like, Oh, God. I’m her mother years old.
Here – I’ll show you. If you’re older than age 10, we can feel old together.
Me: Hey, Emma? I writing a blog post about you today for the letter E.
Emma: Really? Ok!
Me: I’m going to show you a bunch of pictures from before you were born and I want to hear what you think of them.
Me: Ready? Ok. Who is this woman?
Emma: I don’t know.
Me: Ok, what do you think she does for a living?
Emma: A waitress!
Me: Ok, kinda. Her character was a waitress. Her real name is Jennifer Aniston. And the character you see here is named Rachel. This is from the TV show Friends. Have you heard of any of this before?
Me: Rachel had a baby on the show. She named her Emma. Emma became the country’s most popular baby girl name at the time. I heard Emma from the show and loved it and then your dad said yes to naming you Emma. So basically Rachel is your mom.
Emma: What? Mom?!
Me: I’m kidding. Next picture. What is this?
Emma: A phone charger.
Me: No. It’s a mouse. For a computer.
Emma: THAT’S a mouse?
Me: Click click. Next one.
Emma: Um, maybe a stopwatch?
Me: No. It’s a pager.
Emma: I don’t even know what that is.
Me: It’s a device that you can clip to your belt. It rings or vibrates when someone pages you. It’s supposed to display a phone number for you to call back. We used to send messages by typing out numbers on the phone and then…well basically, it was early texting before we could text with letters. Each number represented a group of letters…
Emma: Yeah, I don’t get it.
Me: Ok, next. Who is this?
Emma: Um. Hold on…I know this. It’s a cartoon called the Simps…Simmm…Stimpys?
Me: So close! The Simpsons. This is Marge Simpson. She’s the mom in the family. Next question. Who is this?
Emma: I don’t know.
Me: Ok, guess what she does for a living.
Emma: A model? She has a model pose.
Me: Her name is Britney Spears. She sings. Ok, who is this?
Emma: An actor on ABC?
Me: Good observation but no.
Emma: I don’t know who that is.
Me: THANK YOU. Thank you, sweet child of mine. THANK GOD you don’t know who this is. It’s Justin Bieber. Ok, next one. What is this?
Emma: A CD.
Emma: Something that plays music.
Me: No. They were about this big.
Emma: A DVD player!
Me: No. It’s a VHS tape. It plays movies inside a VCR. Next one. What’s this?
Emma: Oh! It’s film. You put it in your camera.
Me: YES! What happens if you pull the film out of the canister?
Emma: A bunch of pictures show up!
Me: Ha! No, it gets destroyed. Film like this is sensitive to light. That’s why you take a completed roll to a photo processing place.
Me: Ok, now I have a few questions for you. I’m your friend at school, right? So when we get to school, I say to you, “Sorry I couldn’t call you last night, Emma. My sister was on the Internet all evening.” Why couldn’t I call you?
Emma: I don’t get it.
Me: I couldn’t call you at your house because my sister was on the Internet.
Emma: I still don’t get it.
Me: When the Internet first started, you couldn’t get online without a phone line. So if someone wanted to make a call, you would have to get off the computer. And usually the whole family shared one phone line.
Emma: What do you mean a phone line?
Me: Oh, like a house phone. Not a cell phone. Some people still have house phones or house lines now. You basically wouldn’t be able to call anyone.
Emma: This is too much.
Me: Ok, another question. Why do we say “roll down the car window.”?
Emma: Because someone farted.
Me: I mean, like, why do we say “roll” when there’s a button to push the window down?
Emma: OH! There’s a crank that you used to roll! My friend’s papa has one of those old cars.
Me: Ok. That was my last question. Wait, one more – do you like your name?
Emma: Yeah. Why?
Me: Oh, just making sure. I don’t really like mine.
Emma: You don’t?
Me: Nah, it sounds old.
Emma: Mom. Emma is an older name than Julie.
And then Emma became older than me. How did she know that?