My First Day Without the Family (Par-Tay!)

Dear Future Stella,

You left this morning with your Daddy and our two doggies, Phyllis and Gail to head down to the Central Coast to visit your Grandparents en route to Disneyland. Due to work and some other prior engagements, I can’t join you for a few days. Being in our home without you is so sad and strange. That’s a lie, it’s amazing and such a treat. I genuinely miss Gail though. She’s really just the best. I am going to talk shit for a minute about Current Stella, although I don’t know if it’s considered talking shit if I’m technically saying it to her future face. Anyway, Current Stella is a cry baby little nightmare lately. She’s just soooooo sensitive and cries about everything but nothing significant. I have read all the books and I know these things are significant to her and that I’m supposed to be modeling empathy in these moments but it’s really truly difficult for me. Im not a sensitive person at all so this is really outside my realm of understanding. I don’t know if it’s a phase, her personality, or too much Caillou (that little jackass is the whiniest little baby on television), but I’m a little relieved to have a break from it. Future Stella, if you are still a cry baby then please know I still totally love you but just be glad that you don’t have a sibling because it would be a point for them in the favoritism column. Having kids when you are an inherently selfish person is quite a shock to the system. You add being married to a man for 7 years and a couple of dogs and one can feel suffocated pretty quickly. I say this only to inspire you to not feel bad about enjoying space and distance from those whom you love. Parents, and moms specifically, are always riddled with guilt and made to feel bad about spending time away from their kids. I don’t understand this at all but I think that this has more to do with the fact that I’m more selfish than the average bear. You, though, you’re a gentle kind soul who would give your own liver to someone you love (me first please). I can see this being an issue for you when you are a mom. Woah, I’m so sorry. I just totally assumed you would be a mom. I genuinely didn’t mean to assume. You could have kids, no kids, be straight, or lesbian, or maybe even bisexual. I don’t care if you adopt kids, foster kids or if you are a surrogate for someone else’s kids. Just don’t kill kids. That would be a rough one to deal with. People say you love your kids no matter what, but I don’t know about if your kid kills other kids. I wonder if that still applies? If you have kids that have killed kids and you are reading this, maybe weigh in on if you still love them. My curiosity is definitely peaked. Killing kids aside, I can say with confidence that I will love you in 20 years when you are reading this. That’s a pretty crazy thought to rationalize, for me at least. I am someone who prides myself on never saying never and the concept of not saying a good thing out loud because you might jinx it. For instance, as secure as I am with my love for your father, I cannot, with good conscious, promise you that I will be with him in 20 years. There isn’t enough wood that exists for me to knock on that can un-jinx that sentence. There are so many unknowns and what ifs and just by claiming such a bold statement I would be setting us up for failure. Side note to your father really quick: Babe, I know you read these occasionally so please know that I am not saying that I doubt we will be together or that I hope we wont be together, I am just not going to make such an enormous promise to our child that we will definitely be together in 20 years. That has jinx written all over it. Miss you!
Back to Future Stella: I hope we are still married and that we have given you an honest, yet wonderful example of marriage and parenting just like we both had from our parents. Trust me, the last thing I want is for you to have to split your holidays between our two homes. Your dad will be all fat and old looking from the depression of not having me in his life. Then I would make you feel really uncomfortable for subjecting you to my new boyfriend who will be roughly your age and look like some sort of updated Magic Mike look-a-like. Nobody needs to go through that, so I will do my best to keep your dad around. I can’t say where we will be living in 20 years, or what i will look like (I’m guessing amazing), or how much money we will have or what my favorite instagram filter will be. I can say with confidence two things. 1) I will for sure love you (I still need proof about the kid killing thing) and 2) both Phyllis and Gail will be dead.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, I dare you to find something to cry about at Disneyland.

Love,

Mom

Advice on Valentine’s Day

Dear Future Stella,

Today is Valentine’s Day and you were pretty excited about it. It’s not surprising, what with the pink and the hearts and the candy- it’s a little girl’s dream! You made valentines for your classmates. Correction, some factory somewhere made the valentines, you just scribbled your name on them. You wore an explosion of all things girly that just exuded love and happiness. Your father and I were out of our comfort zone as V-Day isn’t really something we typically go nuts over but you were so into it that we had no choice but to play along.

I can pretty much know if I will be good friends with someone based on how they feel about Valentines Day. I’m passing on this wisdom so that when you are interviewing for potential friends you can add this to the many questions you should be asking. People who hate Valentines Day due to it being a Hallmark holiday are red flags. Nobody should care enough about this day to start spewing out conspiracy theories. Give them a pass if they just had their heart broken though, broken hearts definitely lead to conspiracy theories. End the friend interview right away if they say shit like “Everyday should be Valentine’s Day.” Before you write them off, ask them to clarify because if you have been dating less than a year then I think everyday should be Valentine’s Day. However, if it’s been longer than a year then this is absolute horse shit. Every day is NOT Valentine’s Day. Some days you should want to kill your valentine. Some days you will want to ignore your valentine. Most days you won’t appreciate your valentine. Occasionally your valentine and you will have days that are so horrific that celebrating each other will be so low on the priority list that you might forget to say I love you. Every single day though, you should want no other valentine. In general, Valentine’s Day should be viewed as a harmless holiday that children and new lovers obsess over and everyone else should just sort of go with it. Meaning, if you are alone or married for 20 years, this day shouldn’t define you or your relationship. I do think it’s a little bizarre when people in relationships choose to totally neglect it. No judgement, but why not acknowledge your special person, even if it’s just verbal on V-Day? It seems one would have to try really hard to avoid saying or doing something nice to their partner on Feb. 14th. Just saying…

Here’s how your father and I celebrated today. I worked all day and your dad cleaned the whole house and had to deal with you, which, lets be honest, is less than romantic. We drank champagne and together we made a family dinner of chicken with maple glazed carrots and mashed potatoes that you attempted to help with. We exchanged humorous cards and your dad got me roses (he said it was your idea- thanks!). We ended the meal with cupcakes. We put you to bed and then cranked up the R&B music. We made love in every single room of the house, even yours. You were such a sound sleeper. Relax, we didn’t go in your room. We did use your play kitchen as a prop of sorts. Lol, kidding, but now would be a good time to watch that video we made you….In all seriousness, your dad is my long time Valentine and he makes me stupidly happy. He’s a great man and a fantastic father. You and I, we are lucky that we have him in our lives. He puts up with so much of our shit and has the ability to make us laugh so hard. He’s also crazy nice and supportive and would do just about anything for us, sexually speaking on my part, and for you he will play any Barbie game that you ask him to.

Do you have a Valentine? Do I know him? OMG, who is he? Wait, are you married? These are the things I think about when thinking of you in 20 years. The suspense is killing me but the current moment is so overwhelmingly sweet that I don’t want to rush it. I will just have to wait and see.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, will you be my valentine?

Love,

Mom

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My Wimpy Martyr

Dear Future Stella,

Something about Current Stella really confuses me and I have been wondering lately if this behavior will continue into adulthood. Only you can answer that! I don’t understand how you can be such a cry baby when it comes to the most basic, non serious injuries, yet be so stoic when you are sick.

The other day you flipped a lid when a microscopic piece of your cuticle peeled back from your fingernail. You cried so hard and insisted upon a Band-Aid. Naturally, the entire arm was out of commission, and needed to be elevated away from the bath and God forbid you wore a shirt with tight cuffs that would potentially brush the outside of the band aid. This Band-Aid needed to be dressed daily, putting it in the same category as burn wounds and major lacerations. This isn’t an abnormal occurrence- sometimes it’s a scrape on your knee or a blister on your foot. I mean shit, you asked for a Band-Aid once when you hit your funny bone on the coffee table! The amount of consolation and tears these invisible boo boos require are out of proportion to how you act when you are ill.

Most of the time when you are sick you casually tell me that you have a cold or that your stomach hurts. You typically go on to say that you are fine and that you are going to make sure and drink a lot of water. In reality, for you to mention an illness, you already have a raging fever or look completely void of color. You do not want me in these moments. It’s actually something I have a very hard time relating to other moms about. Everyone talks about how when their kids are sick, everything gets messed up. Their kids wake up all night, need to crawl in bed with them and are generally grumpy or acting “off.” I hear this scenario ALL THE TIME. So much so, that when you were younger and I knew you were sick, I would voluntarily go get you from your bed and bring you into ours (because that is what other parents made me feel was standard procedure). I would stroke your back or play with your hair and eventually you would say “Mommy, can I go back into my bed now?” The couple of times you have been crazy sick (rush to the urgent care and an international visit to the ER) you were an absolute trooper. I just don’t get it!

This morning you could barely breathe from a head cold you have been fighting, yet have failed to mention (except for yesterday when you causally said you had a “yiddle cold”) and the only request you had was that you wear socks so that you could protect an invisible wound on your foot that has been there for no less than a week. WTF?

As Future Stella, can you tell me, are you still a giant pussy who DGAF about being sick?

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, I’m sorry you have a cold but don’t worry because you have an Ariel Band-Aid on a mole.

Love,

Mom

Your Mom Went To Da Club Last Night

Future Stella,

I am sure by the time you read this I will no longer be cool and hip and you probably think I’m such a tragic hot mess of old tired lady parts. You also probably think there is no way I was ever cool and cannot fathom a moment where I was burning both ends of the night. I am also willing to bet that if you could visualize me as a wild party animal you would only believe it if I was talking about my life before you. For the most part that is accurate. Kids can be a giant wet blanket. So can husbands, jobs, bills, going to the DMV and UTIs. However, occasionally I am still able to have fun. Occasionally. Let me just explain my wild night last night, and the reason for my current hangover, as proof that I was once hip to the groove.

Where I went was incredibly exclusive. You had to be on the list, which when you are as cool as I am, isn’t a problem at all. I spent quite a bit of time getting ready to make it look like I didn’t try at all. I wore a black jumpsuit that had a plunging neckline exposing my cleavage and a tiny bit of my black lace bra peeked out. I wore black high heels and a gold sparkle belt. I curled my ombré-ish hair into a soft wave and wore bright coral lipstick. If what I just described to you sounds absolutely horrendous, then it shows I was on fleek (slang word alert) because it was 20 years ago and fashion lasts maybe a week. If what I described sounds cute to you then fashion must be doing that thing where it comes full circle, often making the older generations laugh as the youth try to claim these looks as original and fresh. Anyway, back to my evening. The wine and champagne were flowing. I kept getting free drinks so I lost count of how many I had. I knew every single person there- it was crazy. There was dancing and laughter and even a heated debate! Your dad’s jealousy and desire for me were clearly obvious by his texts. Texts like “where are you?” and “I’m going to bed.” He’s always been so obsessed with me. Things at da club got pretty crazy and everything was spinning but I stayed until the last minute when the bar was closing down and the party goers were exiting the building. It was outrageous.

I stumbled out to the curb to wait for my Uber. When I glanced down at my phone to check the time, I was shocked that it was 10:30pm! Book club has never gone that late. I knew my next day was going to suck but I was glad that I was able let loose with some dear friends and discuss a book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The morale of this story is that having kids sucks the life out of fun. I will give you credit for one thing. All the ladies in my book club are the mothers of your friends at preschool. I would never have met them if I didn’t have you and they are wonderful people.

Another take away message is that reading books and having friends who enjoy this same past time is way more fulfilling then going to an actual club. You won’t believe me right now because you are in the height of your clubbin’ days but one day you will agree with me.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, sorry I gave you a frozen waffle without toasting it this morning for breakfast. I was still wasted.
I told you it’s how Elsa likes her waffles (frozen) and you totally believed me.
Love,

Mom

Future Stewwa, I Wuv You

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This morning on the bus you asked me why your name doesn’t have a W in it because it sounds like it should. You can’t say your L’s so you pronounce your name “Stewwa.” I laughed a little bit because sometimes you are just so dang cute. I did my best to explain that your name is pronounced Stella and that it just doesn’t sound like that when you say it because L’s are tricky for you to say.

5 minutes pass.

You ask, “Mommy, why didn’t you just name me Stewwa so I could say my own name?”
Me- Speechless, because honestly what do you say to that? Well played Stella, well played. Here’s what I was thinking though:

Honestly, Stella, I named you Stella because I was unaware of the fact that you were going to have a speech impediment. I guess I had high hopes for you and I’m a little annoyed that such a basic thing seems so difficult for you. Calm down. I wasn’t thinking that at all. I actually was thinking that I hope you never learn how to say your L’s and I want you to always say Stewwa because I can’t stand the idea of you getting bigger and learning the complete English language. I’m just not ready. Here are a few more ridiculously adorable things you say:

Breakfast- breastis
Flash light- light flash
Accessories- sessories
I love it when you ask if you can load down a new app on my phone.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stewwa, I Wuv You.

Mom

Ritual Attempt #2

Dear Future Stella,

The search continued for a weekly Monday tradition for us. Last week’s attempt was less than successful so this week I wanted to get out of our neighborhood. The problem with our neighborhood is that you have been to all the restaurants so many times that it would be hard to take over all your associations with them and have it just be “our place.” However, the problem with leaving our neighborhood is that it might become too tedious of an adventure to do every single week, but I was willing to try it. I also decided to leave the dogs out of the ritual because finding a place with outside seating severely slims down our options. This week I picked a restaurant called Starbelly in the Castro (in case it isn’t anymore, the Castro is where the Gays like to congregate). To get there, we had to take a 40 minute bus ride. It’s the same bus that we take every morning to school, except instead of getting off after 10 minutes, we stayed on for much longer. Our usual bus experience involves going from one nice neighborhood to another nice neighborhood. On most days there are maybe 5 other people on the bus and we rarely come across suspicious activity- it’s all very PG. This ride was very different and was a reminder to myself why I pay a stupid amount of money to live in a small apartment just to raise you in the city. Seeing this kind of diversity creates many teachable moments and plenty of opportunities for you to ask inappropriate questions, thus allowing me to give even more inappropriate answers. This did not happen today though, and instead I was humbled by your genuine lack of judgement for people who are incredibly different from you. While I was busy rotating my rings so that the stones were hidden, clutching my purse tighter to my body and exclusively breathing through my mouth to avoid any unpleasant smells, you were smiling at everyone and told one enormous, obviously crazy woman that you liked her nail polish. Her polish was sparkly blue and totally chipping off her nails that I’m guessing have not been trimmed in years. It’s moments like then that make me so incredibly glad that I didn’t give you up for adoption.

When we arrived at our stop and got off the bus we had a 2 block walk to the restaurant. After maybe 6 seconds you asked me how many more steps until we are there. I don’t know Stella, is that something that exists now? An app that tells you how many steps exactly until you arrive at your destination? If so, then I hope you created it. I also hope it can tell you which method of attaining ice cream takes the least amount of steps and/or effort. You went on to say your feet hurt and that you don’t think you can walk any longer. I took this time to remind you that you are 4 and should have more stamina and lasting power than an 18 year old boy with Viagra at a whore house. You didn’t get the reference so I suggested taking you to the doctor to see if maybe it would be better to amputate both legs so you could just use a wheelchair from now on. I made a mental note that if we go this route to do it before Disneyland next week so we get to the front of all the lines. You hated this idea and began to cry. Jeez, you are so easy to wind up. I told you that I was joking, baffled that I even had to do that, and tried to distract you by pointing out interesting things to look at while we walked. We finally arrived, but not without you making at least 3 more comments about how exhausted you were and how bad your feet hurt.

We met my work husband, Daniel, at Starbelly because he lives around the corner and it’s like pulling teeth to get him to come to our neck of the woods. He immediately pointed out that having a deep side part with short hair must be the new look for hot restaurant wait staff. I couldn’t help but laugh because just that morning your dad started parting his hair on the side. Whether accidental or intentional, your dad always knows what the gays like. I perused the menu and started to get this panicked feeling because I didn’t really see anything on the menu that would be a slam dunk for you. I decided to order the cheese plate because with roughly 1000 varieties of cheese available in the world, the chance of this nondescript cheese plate having the 3 kinds that you will actually eat is higher than the chance of you trying anything else on the menu. We also ordered a margarita pizza. Pizza has had little success making its way into your digestive system, a fact I find so incredibly shameful. While we waited for our food we colored in your Keith Haring coloring book, a strategic move on my part that I hope conveyed our enthusiastic love for the gay community to the patrons of the restaurant.

Our food arrived and you immediately looked disappointed. On the wooden board that was almost the length of our table contained 3 servings of cheese varieties I could tell you were not going to touch. Also on the board: micro fine shavings of apples, some unidentified dried fruit that had been sliced and arranged in the shape of a flower, a handful of almonds, some sort of grainy mustard, a dribble of what I later discovered is spiced apple sauce, and 3 slices of toasted bread. You took the apple shavings and announced that you didn’t want anything else. Eyeing the full bottle of wine that just arrived at our table, I began the negotiations. I somehow managed to get you to try a bit of the hard white cheese on the plate which prompted an almost immediate dry-heaving reaction. The closest you came to trying the dried fruit was a quick lick at which point you returned the wet item to the community cheese plate. Daniel made this horrified expression and I almost began the debate about which is grosser- a previously licked unidentified piece of dried fruit or anal sex but I quickly decided this wasn’t the venue nor the company. I scraped off everything from a bite of pizza and offered you that. You shockingly ate it and asked for more. You requested a piece without the leaf on it (basil). I began the terrible job of cutting up a piece of pizza, an act that should be forbidden in my opinion. Not even 4 seconds later you declared you don’t like pizza and I was equally annoyed with your pickiness as I was with the reality that I would never get the 10 minutes I spent lovingly cutting your pizza back. Knowing that this will never be our ritual, I allowed you to play on my phone at your request- mostly because Daniel and I had a lot of ground to make up in the wine department and also because I felt guilty that I had failed again.
Daniel told you he knew of a candy shop around the corner and he asked you if you liked candy. Considering the fact that you just rejected pizza, it was a valid question. Your little eyes lit up and you vigorously nodded yes. We finished our wine, split the tab and headed out, leaving behind a slew of boys with side parts obviously checking me out as I walked past.
The candy shop was so damn adorbs and so obviously decorated by gays. It was perfection. It was one of those places where the candy was separated in individual canisters and you got to pick out what you wanted and place it in a bag that was then measured by the pound.
*If for some reason eating candy is considered highly toxic and cancer causing, equivalent to smoking black tar heroin or eating a nonorganic strawberry then 1) I’m deeply sorry and 2) I would be worried that you are riddled with cancer. Like go to the doctor. It’s probably really serious. You eat a ton of candy.

On the way home we stopped at Daddy’s work to say hi and I knew he would be finishing up soon and that meant we could get a ride home. All in all it wasn’t terrible but it also wasn’t exactly perfect for our weekly ritual. We will keep looking.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, seriously? You don’t like pizza!?!

Mom

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Here you are out front of Starbelly

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With Daniel inside the candy shop Giddy in the Castro

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Showing off at Daddy’s work

Future Stella Drinking Games- Grammy Edition

Future Stella,

As I ponder the ways in which I can truly help you in the future, the creation of a new drinking game is the obvious choice. Last night your dad and I watched the Grammys. It occurred to me that the entire premise of the show involves connecting musicians that are at least 2 generations apart and making them collaborate on awkward renditions of previous or current hits. In 20 years, when you are watching the Grammys, it’s most likely going to consist of my favorite musicians today collaborating with your favorite artists. I am picturing a lovely evening that we will spend together where we both ask “Who is that?” a lot and we can both educate the other on the music of our day. Dad can’t play because he is like Rain Man when it comes to music so he will know the answer whether the artist hasn’t had a hit in 50 years or they just lost their music virginity. We should allow him to watch with us though, because he says a lot of funny things during the show. Last night the announcer said “super star pianist” and your dad said “I will show you a super star penis.” Anyway, here is the game. If any of the following things happen during the Grammys in 2035 then you have to drink.
*Madonna performs and still has a better body than her 30 year old counterparts
*Jay-Z and Beyonce are still married
*Justin Timberlake gets some kind of lifetime achievement award
*Ryan Seacrest still interviews on the red carpet
*Taylor Swift is in the front row dancing to every single performance
*North West and Blue Ivy win their first Grammies.
*The opening act is a collaboration between Lady Gaga, Nicky Minaj and Katy Perry. It’s the first time anyone has seen Katy Perry in 10 years and her hair is dyed some unnatural bright color. The older people in the audience are going crazy dancing and singing the words. You look horrified and can’t wait for it to end.
*Michael Bublé bores the crowd with an incredibly painful performance of “Home.”

Here is a key so you know who the above people are

Madonna

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Jay-Z and Beyonce
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Justin Timberlake
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Ryan Seacrest
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Taylor Swift
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North West and Blue Ivy Carter
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Lady Gaga, Nicky Minaj, Katy Perry
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Michael Bublé
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Cool things that happened at the 2015 show that may help you in a trivia game at some point
*Sam Smith was a big winner, taking home 4 grammy awards- including best new artist. Your dad and I listen to the Sam Smith radio station on Pandora all the time and think his music is awesome. Something tells me you have no idea what Pandora radio is. Google it, as I am fairly certain Google will still be a thing in 20 years. During one of his speeches last night he said this:
“Before I made this record I was doing everything to try and get my music heard. I tried to lose weight and I was making awful music. It wasn’t until I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen.” Favorite quote of the night. Always be yourself Stella.
*Beck shocked everyone by winning Album of the Year. I did not see that coming.
*Our president, Barack Obama, delivered a PSA about sexual and domestic violence. I am curious how your history books refer to Barack. Besides being the first black president, I wonder if he will be conveyed as a great president or a giant letdown. Jury is still out on that one. I also hope that you, or any of your peers, never experience sexual or domestic violence. I know you won’t because your Dad would beat the living shit out of anyone that ever tried to hurt you.
*My favorite performance was by Ed Sheeran even though he’s a red head. Natural red headed guys totally gross me out. I know that’s mean, and I bet some are crazy nice but I just can’t. He sang the song “Thinking Out Loud.” Your dad and I decided it would be a great wedding song. Insert winky face.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, I have a hilarious video of you singing “Its All About The Bass.” Cant wait to torture you with it one day.

Love,

Mom

Things I say to Current Stella That Might Explain Future Stella’s Therapy Costs

This morning on the bus you told me “Did you know that water makes you yawn?”
I said, “Really?”
You went on to explain, “Yes, because one time I yawned after I drank water.”
I replied with “That’s correct and having sex makes you pregnant. One time I had sex and I got pregnant.”
This is an example of one of the many times I forget that I’m not talking to Future Stella and you will typically give me this face

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Right after I said it I knew I should have given you a more age appropriate answer like, “Yes, water makes you yawn just like every time you watch the movie Frozen a puppy is murdered.”

Last night while you were helping me prepare dinner you asked who taught me how to cook.

I told you the truth (shocker, I know) which is that I taught myself by watching the Food Network all day for basically 2 years. Mom, if you ever read this, I love you to pieces but you never showed me how to cook! You won’t try a bit of the food we make together but I can get you to smell each ingredient. I’m convinced that you actually have a very sophisticated pallet (like your father) and my prediction is that Future Stella is going to be an amazing cook. Am I right? Last night you smelled ginger and said it smelled like Play-Doh. I smelled it, expecting to smell nothing that resembled Play-Doh but you were totally right. It reminded me of when your dad smells/tastes wine and he will say shit like “I get hummingbird piss on the nose with a little shiitake mushroom and sunflower pollen.” I don’t think he’s ever said hummingbird piss but they are always obscure items that I don’t wish to smell or taste so you get my point. However, unlike with your ginger, when I smell and taste the exact same wine, all I smell is alcohol and all I taste is pure heaven.

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Here you are helping me cook.

Future Stella, I Love you. Current Stella, I snuck a little bit of the sauce you helped me make on your pasta and you liked it.

Mom

A Human Scavenger Hunt

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Dear Future Stella,

Today we had brunch with my identical twin cousins who are in town from Florida. You, of course, didn’t like any of the food but I thought it was delicious. Cousins are an awesome thing to have and I have such hilarious memories of these boys when we were growing up. Despite the fact that they live 3000 miles away, we have maintained a great relationship. I have a pretty good feeling about you being able to experience this wonderful thing with your cousins because you already adore them and see them way more than I ever saw the twins when I was little. Speaking of twins, I think everyone should have a pair in their life, preferable identical ones (I’m for once not talking about boobs and I really mean the human being kind of twins). They tend to make most things more fun and there are endless ways to utilize them in every day situations. I like to make them grow their hair out really long, dress them up in matching outfits and send one into a salon to get a buzz cut. Then minutes later send the other one in and say “what the fuck? It grew back way too fast.” It’s probably the most incredibly awesome situation ever. You have to try it. In fact, there are a lot of different kinds of people you should have in your friendship pool. I will provide a list of these people and you should try and acquire as many as possible. Think of this as a human scavenger hunt.

1) A set of identical twins

2) Gays. As many as you possibly can. They are invaluable. Once you know 2 gays, don’t do what I did, which was try and set them up with each other simply because they are both gay. Apparently, being gay isn’t the only necessary quality to warrant a match. They actually have a very complicated list of criteria that makes another gay date worthy.

3) Hot single girlfriends. This is how you get free drinks at bars and know where all the trendy new restaurants are. To best utilize their power, here is how your conversations with them should go-
Hot single girlfriend- “So I went on a date with Jack last night (I’m using the name Jack because 1 out of 3 boys your age are named Jack). He took me to that new restaurant Angel Food. It was a nightmare. He kept talking about his ex girlfriend and he was eating the deviled eggs in one bite. Do you think he likes me?”
You reply – “Hmmm. So tell me, were the deviled eggs decent? Also, is it true the Satan sauce is crazy spicy?”

4) Friends with kids. Ignore this one if you are still a teenager when you read this. Friends with children know how to get stains out of anything. Also, they are always down for wine.

5) Outdoorsy friend. I don’t think anyone gets to the end of their life and wishes they had gone on less hikes. Hikes are more safe and fun with a friend.

6) A friend who always finds a good bargain. This friend is one you should always travel with. If you are like me, you don’t have time to shop around for hotels. It’s incredibly painful and boring. There are people out there who enjoy this. They also do smart things like bring their own snacks into the hotel room. Don’t worry if you forgot to pack your own food. Your friend booked the hotel room so they will have her credit card on file. Just crush the mini bar and she will end up paying for it anyway. Who’s thrifty now?

7) A neighbor friend. These are great for favors. They are the go-to for plant watering, pet sitting and signing for your packages. When you are cooking dinner and you realize you have everything to make a lobster feast except the lobster- call your neighbor friend. When you land in Miami and realize you forgot your child- call your neighbor. This relationship works the best when you get to the point where you exchange keys. This is great for when they go out of town and you just really want to see what they keep in the drawers next to their bed. Also, for optimal perks, when shopping for a neighbor friend, it’s best to pick the one with the biggest house.

8) A friend who prefers to drive. This one will be your best friend.

9) An elderly friend. This is a friendship that will teach you so much about life and will bring you so much gratitude. This friendship only really works out if this friend is crazy wealthy and has no family left to speak of. If you can manage to get her to add you to her will and die within 5 years then she will end up being a truly amazing friend and well worth the many days you had to spend hearing the same lame story and sipping flat champagne.

10) A friend who makes you laugh and listens to your never ending drama. This friend should also share a lot of similar interests. This friend comes in many shapes and colors. This is usually a friend that lasts a really long time and together you will have really high highs and ugly low lows. You can meet this friend in preschool or not until you are 60. You can have more than one of these friends but it’s rare to have a ton of these in your life. I love my friends in this category and they are the only friends who really matter. Except my gays. They are uber important.

Future Stella, I hope you have sooooo many good friends and a handful of best friends. I hope some of these friends are cousins and some of them are gays. I really hope one of them is me.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, why did you order pancakes and then announce you don’t like pancakes?

Love,

Mom

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This is me with my best friend, Amy. I met her in kindergarten.

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Me with the twins.

iPad Vs. Mom

Future Stella,

Guess what Current Stella did last night that was soooo not smart? I asked her if she had to pick between me or an iPad for the rest of her life what would she choose? She thought about it for a very long time, clearly weighing out the pros and cons of each scenario, before answering, “the iPad I guess.” You should be so grateful that I’m such a nice person because I could have easily walked away and left you there with just the iPad, forever. Could you imagine? A new iPad comes out like every 26 days so it wouldn’t take long before that model was obsolete. There is only one version of Mom so I will never go out of style or have a replacement on the market that can do more than I can. My battery almost never dies, I have endless free material and the picture and sound quality are quite nice if you ask me. I know more shit than Siri, don’t need wifi to face time you, and the games I know how to play are so realistic it’s like you are really there. I could have been on a beach somewhere relaxing totally guilt free since my child chose to have me go away but NO, I stuck around because you were only 4 and asking you to grasp the concept of forever is just cruel and inappropriate on my part. I will ask you again when you are 12 and this time I will have a plane ticket ready because if you chose the iPad again (or whatever gadget is stealing all of your time) then I’m off to Aruba. Got it?

*when you are 12, if you chose the gadget again and I’m in Aruba please come visit me! The beach is unreal and totally has free wifi so you can definitely bring your gadget.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, get the fuck off your iPad (it’s dad’s actually) and pay attention to me!!!

Mom