I guess I found you. Having no other way to finance my junior year of college, I decided to sell my eggs to a couple I found on craigslist. I also decided to plan for the day when I meet you. I think that in fifteen or sixteen years, we'll run into each other on the street. I'll know you immediately. Maybe you'll walk like I do, maybe you'll stand pigeon-toed at stoplights, maybe you'll chew the arms of your sunglasses. I don't expect you to smile when you see me. I don't expect you to stop, but I will slip this note into your bag.
Daughter, I have some words of wisdom for you: don't deep fry sweet potatoes when drunk. Don't wear strips with plaid. Approach The Catcher in the Rye with caution. Your English teacher will say that this book defines what it is to be young, but chances are you aren't Holden Caulfield. Chances are you won't shoot John Lennon. When you do find a book that knows you, read it again and again. Read it once a year to see if it's still true. Listen to the radio until you can tell the good songs from the bad ones. Listen to Reggae when you're sad. Listen: that boy with the Jew-Fro who loves Guns 'n' Roses will drive you in circles through the park one day. He'll run his thumb lightly over the back of your neck. When you drive home, he'll show you how to spit tobacco out the window without splattering the car. At fairs, ride the centrifugal force machine, appreciate the perfection of weightlessness, of being parallel and then at 65 degrees to the ground before you're done exhaling. Go into a haunted house at a fairground and smell the chainsaws. Chainsaws wielded by evil clowns are like nothing you've ever smelled. Do not write irregular Spanish verbs on pieces of gum and the insides of slap bracelets. Do not leave bleach in your hair for longer than the time specified on the box. Always tie your shoes. If you buy Converse All-Stars, let your friends draw on the toes: only then will they have real teenage soul.
Daughter, you probably think being a test-tube baby is creepy. Maybe you think it's strange that all your brothers and sisters have gone to stem-cell research— but one of them is knitting a boy's spine, one is curing Michael J. Fox's tremors. And you are the luckiest of all. You are walking down this street on a hot, cloudy day, trailing cigarette smoke and the tinny ghost of a screamo band. There is a novel about vampires in your backpack, and all your jewelry is made of plastic.