Place it on its side and it’s a symbol meaning Infinity.

Her favorite color is orange, but she’s also fond of purple.


Her eyelashes are longer than my hair. (If you tried to count them, you would be whispering numbers for days.)

We have a room full of books in our basement, and she adores announcing that the library is open. She’s the librarian, of course, and she takes this job very seriously. All you have to do is tell her the genre for which you’re hankering, and she’ll take her time finding the perfect book for you. (I typically choose Art, because I want see what she’ll choose for me. Sometimes it’s Degas because she likes the dancers. Sometimes it’s The Art Book because it weighs seven pounds.) She’ll often close the library without warning by hanging a sign that says, “The library is shut down FOREVER.”


She can play Linus and Lucy on the piano.

She knows all of the words to the Newsies soundtrack, and when she sings Seize the Day, I sometimes feel my lip quivering and my heart can barely take it.

She’s my biggest fan and I’m her biggest fan.


We both love Doritos.

She likes to keep a small notebook with her because she loves to write stories. (Fun Fact: She was first published at the age of five.) ((If you know me at all, you know how perfect it is that she packs a tiny notebook.))

Eight years ago this morning, she winced as she was pulled from a surgical incision made through my abdomen and uterus. (C-sections are often done when they’re not medically necessary, often putting the mother and infant at risk. Sometimes you have to throw stuff like this into a blog entry because you know a few people are thinking it, and you want to show them that you get it. You totally get it. Also, I tend to post the following photo every year on this day, so now it’s YOUR turn to wince!)

First Glimpse of Harper

Harper Rose was named for both Harper Lee (whose name was actually Nelle Harper Lee) and my grandmother Virginia Rose (whose name was actually Rose Virginia).

The happiest of birthdays to Ms. Harper Lee, who turned 87 today. (Also, a special shout out to my grandma, who ate an orange each and every night after she peeled it with a little plastic stick.) To Harper Rose? May your eighth birthday be filled with cookie cake and friends and books and cinnamon rolls and Newsies and dog kisses and sunshine. You Are Loved.


EDITED TO ADD: Because more than one person mentioned it, here is the infamous rattlesnake video.

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27 thoughts on “Place it on its side and it’s a symbol meaning Infinity.”

  1. Awww… so sweet! Happy birthday! You’ll always be the Rattlesnake Bit the Baby NO! baby to me! :-)

  2. I didn’t wince at that at all! In fact, I was jealous when I saw that pic because no one took photos as my girl came into the world in the same manner. I didn’t see her until she was neatly bundled up.

    Happy birthday, Harper!

  3. Happy birthday, Harper! It’s so touching to see how much you mom loves you- even if you don’t like the rattlesnake song. ;)

  4. what an amazing c-section photo, silly video, and perfect little lady. happy birthday Harper!

  5. This made me cry, because I know exactly how much you love your beautiful girls. I also know that you are an exceptional mother. I’ve never seen the picture of Harper’s grand entrance into the world.

    Wishing Harper Rose the Happiest of Birthdays today!

  6. Oh my goodness, “the library is closed FOREVER” just might be the cruelest threat in the whole world!

    (when I was 4 I cut the ribbon at the library, I was wearing purple which was my favorite color as a wee person, years later when I returned to my hometown I discovered that one of the librarians was known as “the purple lady” because she only wore purple and had purple hair–all this to say that it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that scientists have isolated the same gene for the love of both books and purple)

    As my birthday wish for her, may Harper save enough money from not having to buy mascara to keep her in books forever!

  7. It’s nice to see a girl with those amazing eyelashes (not that they aren’t equally as awesome on boys, but boys don’t generally long for eyelashes like girls do). Happy Birthday, Harper!!

  8. How have I been missing so many of your posts??!!! A belated but loving birthday wish to your super special Miss Harper Rose :-)

  9. This is a day late, because I was celebrating a great life event yesterday with my grandson, so please excuse me, but tell Harper I hope she had the best of birthdays this year!

    And I hope she will always remember how much her mother adores her, every inch of her, even if there are a few times in the future when Harper questions it. I am certain those will be very few and very far between.

    Thank you, Angela, for sharing with the rest of us your wise words about how much you appreciate your daughter. Reading this just makes me very happy that the two of you have each other.

  10. (please know that your response will in no way influence whether or not I phone you. My inner child supposes more boldness than I possess.)

  11. I cannot believe that Harper is 8! Although I should not be shocked because I survived my bedrest of my beautiful 8 year old by reading fluid pudding! I have mommy envy. Hug those b day girls and yourself for doing such an amazing job as a mom! Congrats!

  12. You will be happy to know that your song about the rattlesnake became an earworm for me, except my mind somehow changed it to “The unicorn bit the baby”. Much better, somehow…

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