Our baby girl wasn’t much for being a baby. Sarah was grown up by the time she was ten and she was so smart it made us nervous. Sarah was beyond us mathematically before she was out of grade school. She was so far ahead of the rest of her trigonometry class in the eighth grade that the teacher didn’t include Sarah when he set the curve and some of the college kids she was taking the class with paid her to tutor them. Going against stereotypes, however, Sarah was and still is an immensely social being. She has friends from one to a hundred and every parent she met, she seduced. We had a hundred offers to take Sarah off our hands. She also loves to dance, tells delightful stories, and isn’t afraid to make a fool of herself. Her extended family has her pegged as a klutz and whenever something is spilled during a holiday meal, Sarah usually gets the blame, even when she isn’t in the same state.
Sarah has a physics degree from Stanford and a law degree from Berkeley. She can relate hilarious tales about cross-dating young men from these notorious rivals. But it was dancing away from academia where she met the young man with whom she now intends to spend her life. Being parents, we weren’t sure at first if Terence was a good fit for our Sarah. He is every bit as intelligent and even more worldly than she is. But Terence doesn’t fit neatly into a box either. He is equally at home wining and dining celebrities and the press as a public relations hot shot or in working alone in the wilderness cataloging wildlife, which is what Terence did before he got a job with the Berkeley Repertoire Theater. We wondered if there was too much chemistry between them and worried that their love would combust with the slightest spark. But they have told us separately how much the other means to them and the look in their eyes convinced us that their love cannot be denied. And, when we think about it, since it is Sarah, it couldn’t be any other way. She was never meant for a safe and quiet life. Like everything else she does, Sarah’s love for Terence and his love for her must be written large across the emotional landscape. It can’t be whispered in a quiet breeze but must be sung on high from a choir of a thousand angels.
In one of those wonderfully serendipitous moments in life, we finished a love story about a young couple who has to overcome some unique challenges in order to find true love at nearly the same time we learned of Sarah’s and Terence’s engagement. That made it easy for us to figure out who we would dedicate the novel to. So now, when you get a copy of The Valentine’s Game and see our inscription to Sarah and Terence, you’ll know that we are thrilled that our baby girl has found love with a charming and clever young man. We just know that their lives together will be the stuff of legend and can’t wait to see what happens when they join forces completely. We are also patiently waiting for our next grandchild and will apply absolutely no pressure on our daughter and future son in-law to hurry up and give us a reason to spend our free time buying baby clothes in Berkeley. Really, no pressure whatsoever!