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Challenge: Happy Birthday!

The Best Way to Celebrate Your Child's Birthday Doesn't Cost a Thing

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When you are in the sleepless early years, you feel as though they will never end. You can't envision your head and the pillow ever again spend an uninterrupted seven hours together. But then one day you sleep again and you are suddenly that parent who is desperate to stop the clock.

Tomorrow my oldest child turns 11. It is almost impossible to believe how fast the last 11 years have gone by. There is nothing that will stop these rapid currents and if you talk to parents who have been there and ask them what does, you will get a host of half answers and shrugs. The best you might do is have someone suggest you spend one on one time with each kid. But sadly, the clock doesn't turn back for solo time. What does? Memorializing it. Yet if you are like me, you wrote down a few firsts with your first child, you wrote down a few fewer with your second child, and then applaud yourself for remembering any details of your third child's early years.

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Well, I am here with great news. It is never too late to make up for the lack of scrapbooks and mementos you feel guilty about not having. Instead, it is time to channel your inner Barbara Walters and get to the business of chronicling your child. Last night on the eve of Ella's last night as a 10-year-old, I interviewed her. She loved the experience and I did too. At the end I mentioned that many parents would enjoy doing this with their kids and Ella said, "Why don't you show them what you asked me so that they have your list of questions?" So here we are and I would love for you to drop me a note if you come up with additional questions or any other ideas.

Here it is. The Ella Jacobs interview on the eve of her 11th birthday...

What are you most proud of?

Weird to say this, but being a big feminist.

What achievement are you most proud of?

Being Assistant Editor of The Arrow Post. (school paper)

What is your favorite way to spend time?

With people that I care about and that care about me.

If you could change anything in the world what would it be?

For everybody to be treated equal.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

It would be cool to be a Senator or somewhere in the branches of government because I feel like I would have enough power to make a good change and speak up and be a role model.

Favorite movie?

Groundhog Day as a family movie. My favorite movie based on a true story was October Sky.

Favorite TV show?

Modern Family

Favorite food?

Tikka Masala on naan

Your favorite restaurant?

Taj Palace because it is empty.

What are your favorite places in the world?

London and home.

What part of your personality are you most proud of?

Empathy.

If I was completely fearless I would ___________.

Tell everybody what I thought was right and give speeches about what is right.

Your favorite sport?

Basketball for sure. Air hockey is a close second. Actually not that close.

Describe your relationship to your siblings.

I love them and only have play fights with Bowen. With Ruby it is the same. We get in fights sometimes but we forgive each other easily and we kind of struggle to understand each other but we are trying to accept our differences and we still love each other.

Describe your relationship with your parents.

We pretty much understand each other and get along perfectly and we love each other.

If you could have one superpower what would it be?

The ability to know what to say and to say it fluently. To be quick on my feet.

Who have you not yet met that you would most like to have dinner with?

Emma Watson but what would I do? That would be so awkward. I don’t like having dinner with one person because (with more people) then you have better odds of not having an awkward conversation. Maybe a flying dinner on a drone would be fun. I would do it with dad because mom would be scared. Maybe a writer or magazine editor to get ideas for The Arrow Post.

What is your favorite way to spend a Sunday?

Saturdays are the really fun days.

OK, Saturday.

Really! Thank you! With a friend but I have never really been on a sleepover since fourth grade. I would stay up reading until 10 to 11. Sometimes I could go to the movies. Then I would go home and play Minecraft for an hour with my friends and then mom would make us do a puzzle and I would be super annoyed about it but it is still a perfect Saturday.

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