I’m Finding it Hard to Be Present, Future Stella

Dear Future Stella,

I’m lying awake in bed on my last night of freedom before meeting you at Disneyland. It’s so quiet in our house and I wish I could just sleep. I did that thing where I just mindlessly flipped through the channels on the TV but I didn’t have the attention span to really focus on anything. I bet TV for your generation is amazing. With the exception of shows that need to be live (sports, SNL, and Watch What Happens Live on Bravo), I am guessing you can just watch whatever you want, whenever you want. Lucky. I came back to my room to read in the hopes that it would make me tired and I could get some serious sleep before my trip tomorrow. Unfortunately, my mind is being psychotic and scattered and manic. This is the main downside to being a creative, once you have been inspired or are in the midst of a project, there is almost nothing you can do to distract from it. I love to read. I know I would love our book club choice this month (All The Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr) but it’s useless when all I can think about are these letters and you 20 years from now. I’m thinking about it all the time, to the point where I’m worried I’m going to not enjoy Current Stella because I’m so fixated on the Future version. This, I believe, is the problem with humans in general. Even though Oprah did her best to try and get us to live in the moment and be present, all we can do is focus on the next thing. We are all guilty of it and it takes so much discipline to appreciate what is happening live. So there is my great conundrum. How do I continue to pour out my thoughts to you while at the same time maintaining a semblance of the version of myself that is most familiar? The version that could watch anything on television and get sucked in, the version that could get lost in a book in the middle of a hurricane, the version that could literally stare at Current Stella’s fingernails for as long as it took to actually see them grow….sigh. This isn’t a question that can really be answered in a night. I will just move on to telling you about my day today and hopefully this feeds the monster and I can go to sleep.

I ate your Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for lunch today because I missed you and it reminded me of you. NOT. I was starving and it was all we had. It was delicious and not to be “cheesy” or anything but I think it’s special that I used to eat that as a kid and now you do. Literally nothing has changed about it and to me, that’s kind of cool. Even today a meal like that is totally frowned upon because of all the processed ingredients so I am sure by the time you read this it’s probably considered poison and you can no longer find it. I think I am going to buy a case of it and put it in storage for you. Due to all the preservatives I am sure it will last forever and this way you can share with your kids a meal that has been passed down through generations. There I go again assuming you are going to have children, and this time I assumed more than one. Clearly the universe is trying to tell me/you that kids are in the crystal ball.

After my delicious lunch, I walked to town to get a manicure. You actually requested that I have this done before Disneyland. You told me to paint them pink and guess what? I was clearly missing you so much because I picked out a color called princesses rule. To be totally honest, I didn’t know that was the name until after I had already committed to it, but sometimes fate works in weird ways. Speaking of nail polish, I have this crazy fantasy of having the job that names the different polishes. How cool would that be? I would be so good at it. I need to figure out what kind of education/experience one needs to apply for this position. Considering I’m already a colorist, and I understand the concept of naming things, I can’t imagine I wouldn’t be perfect for the job. Stay tuned…

Then I did something I never do. I got a spray tan. I know, I know, they are so gross and smelly and fake looking. I know. It’s just that I’m not used to being this pale and if I’m really going to the happiest place on earth tomorrow then I want to feel happy. And being pasty makes me very unhappy. I’m a California girl through and through. Ugh, I smell so disgusting right now. I feel like a rotting fish in a garbage can. Don’t worry though, because I was smart enough to wear one of your dad’s shirts so that I won’t stink up any of mine.

The last thing I did before getting mentally side tracked with these letters is I watched the movie, The Theory of Everything. It’s nominated for an Oscar this year for Best Picture. Before you came into my life I would watch every single movie that was nominated, including the obscure categories. I was super into it. However, since your birth I have seen maybe 1 or 2 nominated movies per year and most of these viewings happened after they had already won/lost their award. I typically watch them from the comfort of my own couch, sometimes taking up to 3 days to watch 1 movie in its entirety. This year I did a lot better. I think I have seen 4 of the best picture nominations. I actually really enjoyed the movie tonight. It’s a movie about Steven Hawking, who is this genius physics legend, who also has ALS. This disease slowly attacks your nervous system, eventually disabling everything but the brain itself. The part of the movie I found fascinating is that even though he couldn’t walk, talk, or feed himself, he was able to get his wife pregnant 3 times. If that doesn’t show the power of an erection I don’t know what will.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, I can’t wait to see you tomorrow. I truly, genuinely, finally miss you a lot.

Love,

Mom

Day 3 Without My Family

Dear Future Stella,

I’m starting to miss you a tiny bit. I forgot how many times a day you give me a hug or a kiss or say “I love you.” You are really affectionate, you know? Are you still? I am not at all but you are softening me a bit to the idea. You start every single one of my days with a giant hug and a kiss on my cheek. Without it, I have learned, my mornings just don’t progress like they should. I find myself stuck in each phase of my routine, unable to move to the next task in a timely manner, resulting in the most unproductive days. I did yoga in your room (your room has the most available floor space in our whole house) and I was looking forward to not having you hand me one of your barbies to dress while I was mid plank. I thought it would be nice to actually be in downward dog without Gail and Phyllis crawling under my face and licking me up my nostrils, my hands not available to swat them away. It was supposed to be relaxing and calm. Instead, I found myself looking at your dollhouse and studying the last way you had everything arranged. Current Stella, we need to talk when you get home , you had the Baby Barbie face down in the toilet. Also, you are always on my case about my closet being messy- you should see how you left Barbie’s closet. Talk about hypocrite! I then turned my attention to your easel and your most recent drawings. Your writing and your ability to stay inside the lines has really improved. When did this happen? All of your S’s were facing the right way. I actually preferred them backwards. I looked at the dresses hanging in your closet and suddenly I registered how big they are. They can’t possibly fit you, there is no way you are that size. I noticed you forgot your pillow. I couldn’t hold my pose because I was consumed with wondering how you have been sleeping without it. I laughed at all the bags and containers you have stashed all over your room, inside them the contents are totally random, but not to you. I thought about moving stuff around, switching out some of the items to see if you would notice. I decided not to because of course you would notice and you would flip the fuck out. You are such a hoarder. It pains you to throw anything away and you love collecting nonsense in bags. It suddenly occurred to me that I am most likely going to be spending a ton of time in the coming years snooping around your room when you are not home. I got really excited thinking about reading your diary and going through the contents of your pockets in the laundry. Looking under your mattress and inside all your drawers. Examining your bed things with a black light. Fingerprint samples. Testing the barbed wire hung outside your windows. Tapping your cell phone. Hacking into your email account. Installing GPS tracking devices inside all of your shoes. Meticulously going through your trash. Drug sniffing dog. Maybe a forensic team from time to time. You are so screwed Stella because I’m only half kidding.

Anyway, I really do miss you. I still miss Gail the most, obviously, but you are rapidly gaining momentum.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, I raided all your Valentine’s candy last night while watching the Bachelor.

Love,

Mom

Day 2 Without My Family

Dear Future Stella,

I slept like a starfish last night. Or wait, I don’t know how starfish sleep but I slept in the shape of a starfish. It was glorious. I used your dad’s pillow instead of mine because his is better and it’s a luxury that would never happen if he were here. I also slept in one of his t-shirts, which I am not telling you this because I think you will find it particularly riveting but only to irritate him when he reads this because for some reason he doesn’t like me to sleep in his shirts. Or wear his socks. He has this weird fear that he’s going to run out if I dip into his supply. Instead of trying to write how asinine this is, I will just show you. Here is what his shirt drawers, yes plural, look like. Keep in mind, he most likely has 7 or so with him in his suitcase, I am wearing 1 and there are about 4 others in the laundry.

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Another important thing to note is that he just got rid of an entire garbage bag of t-shirts to the Goodwill. So yeah, the man has a shit load of t-shirts.

The sock thing really pisses him off. I thought I solved this problem by getting him 40 pairs of socks for his 40th birthday but not only was that an offensive and inadequate gift for a 40th birthday, he STILL freaks out when he discovers I’m wearing his socks.

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So guess what? I just changed into a different one of his t-shirts and later when I get dressed I am going to most likely wear 2 pairs of his socks.

BTW, it took every shred of self discipline inside me to not get him another pair of socks for his 41st birthday, the thought being that he would always have the same number of socks as his age. I thought this would be handy as he reaches the later part of his life and the possibility of him forgetting his age becomes more of a reality. He was so annoyed at the first 40 pairs though, that I had this intuition that the next pair would completely throw him over the edge. There really is a great lesson in this for you, Future Stella. First, always trust your intuition. It has never failed me. Second, always walk the line with those you love between teasing them and totally fucking pissing them off. Your dad and I have a relationship that basically just cruises along this line at all times. For instance, considering it has been more than 20 years since he has received socks as a gift, I think it is totally acceptable and hilarious if you get him 61 pairs of socks for his birthday this year. Let me know if you need assistance (funds wise) for this, as I believe this is a totally normal and justifiable opportunity to dip into our savings.

Speaking of things as old as your father, I watched the 40th anniversary show of SNL last night. I hope that show is still on for you to enjoy, although I really doubt it can happen without Lorne Michaels. I am a diehard SNL fan, even when it’s not funny. I have so much respect for the writing of that show and even more for the actors who try and take that on. Comedy to me is everything and that show is an hour and a half of all things I adore. I’m hoping you have a sense of humor and enjoy both dishing our and receiving jokes. Laughter is basically a socially acceptable public orgasm. Like an orgasm, laughter is a pleasurable release of energy. Also, when choosing your mate in life, they should be able to make you laugh just as easily as they should be able to make you orgasm. They are equal to me in the importance department, and sometimes they go hand in hand. Similarly, making someone laugh is just as powerful as making someone orgasm. How gross is it to picture your mom having an orgasm? I know, right? That’s why I said it. So fucking gross. Yuck. You must be like so disturbed right now and I am loving it 20 years in advance.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, you better not be behaving like a little shit monster for your grandparents today.

Love,

Mom

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
Unknown
Taylor Swift
Unknown-1
North West and Blue Ivy Carter
Unknown-2images
Lady Gaga, Nicky Minaj, Katy Perry
images-1images-2Unknown-3
Michael Bublé
Unknown-4

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