Do you know the birthday of the actor who is the voice of Slinky in the movie, Toy Story? Our daughter, Ebby, does. She also knows the birth dates and half birth dates of everyone she has ever met and the same about their neighbors and friends. Ebony knows trivial details about most celebrities. Ebby, as she prefers to be called, remembers conversations in great detail, no matter how long ago they happened, and the specifics of the settings in which they took place. Ebby can also spout off the dates of every medical appointment to which she or her siblings have ever been. She knows the day of the week any particular date falls on in years past and future. She’s a virtual “wiki brain”.
Ebony recently celebrated her sixteenth birthday, sweet sixteen. And sweet she is. When she came to us, Ebby weighed just four and a half pounds . Now she tops the scales at two hundred plus pounds. Who knew that such a tiny infant girl would grow up to be so large and in charge? With the New Year, Ebby resumed a gym workout program at the local YMCA. She is big and funny and wears lots of makeup . Sometimes I think she looks like a lady of the night . She thinks she looks absolutely stunning . She carries a bright pink shiny bag to enhance the look.
Ebby is a Facebook stalker. Talk to her one time and suddenly, she is your best friend . She will know everything about you…your birthday, your half birthday, where you live, who lives with you, and many random details about your life. Don’t have any other friends either. You have become hers and hers alone! She is a piece of work for sure.
Ebony has been diagnosed on the autistic spectrum scale. She says she is “artistic” , not “autistic”. And that she is. Ebony creates beautiful pieces of art filled with vibrant color and amazing detail. She produces mounds of drawings, staying up into the wee hours of the morning working diligently. Ebony has sold some of her artwork to raise funds to purchase a magic hairspray that supposedly helps her hair to grow.
Ebby is also a master baker and she is the reigning Queen of Cupcakes. Everybody, even random acquaintances, gets cupcakes for every occasion. She is crazy about the boy band , One Direction. She takes weekly vocal lessons and it is not unusual to be awakened at 3 AM to the sound of her practicing her singing in true Aretha Franklin style. It is no wonder that her father dozes off at work most afternoons. And we’re not really sure how to take this, but Ebony asked us if she could have sperms for pets. We told her she could but only if she agreed to walk and feed them everyday.
Ebby calls her dad FCC not to be confused with Federal Communications Commission. In this instance, it means French Canadian Cruel because her dad is French Canadian and she says he looks like Claude Frollo, the cruel master, in the Hunchback of Notre Dame. This is not so bad a comparison considering Ebby likens her sister, Salinna, to Squidward from SpongeBob SquarePants. Ebby calls me Class of 1970 instead of Mom because it is the year I graduated from high school.
Ebony is able to recite lengthy passages of dialogue from every movie she has ever watched and she can often be heard talking to herself, repeating a favorite line over and over. “Excuse me. Are you looking at me? Did you rub my lamp? Did you wake me up? Did you bring me here? And , all of a sudden, you’re walking out on me? I don’t think so! Not right now! You’re getting your wishes.” (Alladin). There’s no kid like our dear Ebony; she is more than we could ever have wished for.
Please let Ebby know my birthday is Feb. 18.
(Sent from my iPad. Please excuse typos)
Kathryn Quigley Associate Professor of Journalism Rowan University 6 E. High Street Glassboro, NJ 08028 856-256-4132 firstname.lastname@example.org “You must be the change you wish to see in the world,” Gandhi