The 24 screen googaplex theater was almost deserted on a Monday night. This flick was way beyond its blockbuster opening weekend. But that didn’t matter to the 15-year old girl sitting beside me, concentrating intently on the screen. We were watching the latest Harry Potter movie — her second viewing of what will eventually be dozens by the time it hits Netflix.

Not for the first time I realized that my daughter Emma had grown up right alongside of this saga. In fact I see a lot of her in the characters that have helped to frame her life.

She has the heart and conviction of Harry. All of the smarts –without the haughty attitude — of Hermoine. The loyalty — and sometimes the nervousness — of Ron. A little of Snape’s secretiveness. All of Hagrid’s caring interest in animals, great and small. And what I treasure most about her — the depth and character of Dumbledore.

Not bad for a Muggle. That’s a non-wizard in J.K.Rowling’s fabulous world. What she lacks in magical ability, she makes up for it in other gifts. Especially her writing. Years ago, when most kids her age were watching TV or playing video games, Emma spent her idle hours with a notebook and pen, dreaming up vivid creative and complex fantasy stories.

The funny thing is, she never liked to actually finish a story. How appropriate because Emma is the wonderful and rare teen that doesn’t want to grow up. And that makes me so happy. In fact I’ve helped encourage that. There’s plenty of time to do grown up things when you’re a grown up. But there’s no fear in her about what lies ahead in her promising life. Nor should there be.
But now she’s about to face a situation that very few kids her age have expeienced. This girl is going to have an interesting chapter in her childhood, and she has more than a few things to say about it:

At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. When Mom told me her idea about the surrogacy, I had no clue what she was talking about. But when I learned, I had mixed feelings. Well, for one, I thought it was just plain weird. The thought of her carrying someone else’s baby unrelated to her in any way was so strange. I also thought of the risks she’d be taking. So many things could go wrong. But the hardest thing to explain is my overall opinion of it.

I know this whole thing is so controversial, even illegal in some states, which makes me think, really think, about it. Is it wrong or right? I’m aware that it’s a selfless act, giving a couple a baby they can’t have on their own, but I’ve always been more for people adopting kids.

Plus, since surrogates are paid, it will be weird having to tell my friends. I mean, they would think that the kid was hers, when its not. I feel like, when I actually try to explain it to someone, it sounds like my mom is just doing this for the money. It makes us sound either greedy or ultra-poor.

This is going to be so weird.