And today her mom told me that she wrote about me in her application essays. And I know what you're thinking, but no! It was not part of some cautionary tale.
Her essay began, "Since I was a little kid, I wanted to grow up to be a secret agent. Everyone laughed at me, except for [insert my full name here, which I don't want to include even though it appears in the sidebar -- I have my reasons]."
I don't know which makes me happiest: the fact that I encouraged someone to pursue her dream and now she really is pursuing it, or the fact that the dream I encouraged is so zany. I mean, I totally love that it felt completely normal to me to figure out how a 12-year old girl could become a secret agent. I was curious. It never occurred to me (until I heard her mom say the words "secret agent" aloud) that anyone would laugh at that choice of profession. But when I hear it told back to me, it's hilarious. It's exactly the kind of nutty thing that I (insert full name here) would encourage.
But whatever, it absolutely makes sense. It's a real job that people do and she is the perfect candidate (smart, athletic, ambitious) for work like that. If you don't count blowing your cover on your college application essays at age 17 (and providing counterspies with the full name of who to kidnap and torture and kill when the torture thing doesn't make her talk), she's going to be an outstanding "clandestine service core collector," a job title that only the CIA could dream up and one that rivals "secret agent" for its sheer entertainment value.
Of course, all this means that eventually I'll be responsible for whatever horrific spy fate that may befall her, but for now I feel pretty much like George Baily in It's a Wonderful Life.