That Time Gum Ruined Everything

Dear Future Stella,

The only thing that really matters in life happened this past week- the Broncos won the Super Bowl. This is baby book material because this is the first time they have won in Current Stella’s life. I can’t remember what her first words were or how old she was when she rolled over front to back but I will always remember this.

OK, wait, I have to interrupt this to bring you a live play-by-play of what is happening right now with Current Stella. She is going ballistic because I threw away her gum (it was an empty package). She is just beside herself. Currently she is in her room, crying, and going on and on about how that gum is the only kind she likes and how she actually, really needs gum. She keeps saying I am lying at her (not sure how you lie AT someone but whatever). This is a direct quote heard from behind her closed door, “I am always allowed to have gum and now anytime anyone talks about gum it makes me sad. I really need my gum. I want to have my gum back. She was being so nice today and now she’s being mean. I just want one piece of gum because its so good. I know I had a piece left. She threw it away on purpose.”

Now there is silence except for occasional straining sounds and angry grunts. Anyway, here’s the thing. I can’t be certain there wasn’t one piece left in that package when I threw it away. If there was, I didn’t see it. Gauging by Current Stella’s rage she is probably right that there was a single piece left that she was hoarding for today’s ration after school. That is how her brain works. At the store yesterday she begged for gum in the checkout line because she was running dangerously low. I declined to purchase a new pack however, mainly because our cart was filled with an embarrassing amount of sugar as it was (Super Bowl food) and I knew I was going to get hit up hard by the Girl Scout Troup outside so I ultimately said no. I am regretting this decision now because she is just hysterical in there.

I had to take a break from this to go deal with Hurricane Current Stella. Here is a follow up to the rest of our evening. I will hopefully eventually circle back around to my original thoughts but I just thought you would want to know how that whole thing ended up.

After a 15 minute tantrum, she calmed down and I thought we would finish the night strong. Monday nights are always so special because it’s just the two of us. WRONG. When she came out of her institution, AKA her bedroom, and joined me in the kitchen I decided to tread lightly. I mentioned to Current Stella that I ordered her hot lunch for tomorrow. I thought this would make her so happy. Ever since my parents got her this amazing lunch box for Christmas I have been packing her lunch every day. Well, she mentioned that sometimes she still wants hot lunch. Ask and you shall receive- I can be that kind of bad ass mom on occasion. I really thought this was going to excite her. Boy, was I mistaken. She spiraled into all kinds of crazy almost immediately. She doesn’t want hot lunch, she wants a REAL lunch, whatever the hell that means. I was the lunch lady today at her school so I also ordered her hot lunch today so that she would have to come through the line and see me. She loved seeing me at school and ate the crap out of her food so on my way home I decided to order it for her again tomorrow. I am also on lunch duty tomorrow so I thought all of this made sense. I had no idea she has a very strict policy about not eating hot lunch two days in a row. Tears were streaming down her face and she looked at me with such disgust. How could I fuck this up so bad? She couldn’t believe my incompetence about getting her lunch wrong.

While I prepared her dinner I wondered if sending your kids to bed without supper is still considered a thing and if it is, how I could pull it off. Then I remembered she hadn’t had a bath in days so I had to power through two situations before I could reclaim sanity.

When I was filling up her bath water I remembered I had some little vials of bubble bath designed to improve one’s emotional well being. There are a bunch of different potions depending on what you are going through. I was planning on using these for myself but it was clear that Current Stella needed these more than me. It was a tough call to determine what kind of remedy she needed because she was so wound up at this point she needed everything so I just threw a bunch of different stuff in there, kind of like an emotional Hail Mary.

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That stuff is crap and didn’t make a dent in her overall mood. She still looked at me with the glare of death and complained about every. Single. Thing.

At this point, my evening was only going to improve once she went to bed and I could curl up on the couch with my lap top and a glass of wine, writing to the future kid who hates me so much right now. So here we are. She’s in bed, I am inhaling the scent of the most wonderful candle and reflecting on what the hell just happened tonight. If I did throw away her gum, and the more I marinate on the scenario it appears likely that’s what happened, then I feel pretty bad. She’s just so organized and methodical that I could see how she would have saved that last piece for the right time. The injustice of someone throwing away something so special is definitely frustrating. However, she’s the most empathetic and understanding little girl to everyone about everything, why is she so harsh and angry when it comes to my mistakes? I can’t help but think that this is the beginning of the tumultuous relationship that is a mother and her daughter. Of course when your Daddy (do you still call him that?) got home from work she was all smiles and affection. Not one mention of the gum, or the lunch, just hugs and gratitude for her unicorn pillow that is all clean (because I washed it).

Anyway, what was I even talking about? Oh yeah, The BRONCOS!!!! The Super Bowl was in our backyard and we didn’t go, which might be something I regret forever. However, if I could go back in time and change one thing in the past 24 hours I would probably use that power to unthrow away Current Stella’s gum instead of attending the Super Bowl. If that doesn’t show you how much I love you and how sorry I am for mindlessly tossing something that was so coveted by you then I give up. Are you still mad at me?

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Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, if this matters at all, hypothetically speaking if that piece of gum was still in its package on our counter I still wouldn’t have let you have it tonight. You had a few Girl Scout Cookies and begged for a marshmallow so there was no way on God’s green earth that I would have said yes to a piece of gum on top of all that. Hopefully that makes you feel a little better. So really, I saved you from what would have been an even bigger meltdown. You’re welcome.

Love,

Mom

Happy Birthday to Me

Dear Future Stella,

I had a birthday this past week. I turned 32. That’s less than a decade older than you are right now in 2025. I know in my brain that I’m not old. My reproductive system is hypothetically completely functional, despite the fact that I wish I could permanently disable it. I have three more years to have another kid without it being labeled as “high risk” and at least a decade more if I wanted to figure out a way to have another baby. I have not reached an age where I am medically responsible for certain recommended procedures (mammograms, colonoscopies). I could potentially go back to school and gain the knowledge to start another profession entirely, and still have time to have yet another successful career. If I didn’t have one penny in the bank I could still provide for my future if I started today. I don’t even think about Botox and face lifts or stare at my wrinkles in the mirror. I have a few gray hairs, but nothing that demands my constant attention. I generally still know what is in style or what the current music sounds like and I can honestly say I enjoy a little bit of both. By definition I am a millennial who are notorious for being young and obnoxious.

However, I can’t help but feel like an old hag. I need at least three months notice if I am expected to get in a bathing suit. I am not eligible to be a contestant on The Bachelorette. I don’t ever get carded. If I wasn’t so vain I would have an actual mustache and goatee. I am constantly having to google what certain acronyms stand for. I have no idea how to Snap Chat and even worse, I don’t care to. I wouldn’t go to a music festival unless I could bring my own couch, blanket, wine, Gail the Puppy, and if I could wear sweats and one of your Papa’s old t-shirts.

Future Stella, you have a few good years left. A bunch of older people will tell you the best is yet to come and maybe they are right. I hope so, for both of our sakes, but from where I stand- you are living the dream right now. Being 25 is kind of amazing. Maybe you are done with school, maybe you have a shit ton more. You maybe have met the love of your life, or maybe there are six more to meet. Maybe you still live with me (hopefully not) or maybe you are living in another country. The possibilities are exciting for me to think about and I just want you to know that it is a very steep decline from 25 to 32. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

For my 32nd birthday I fulfilled a long time dream of mine. Your daddy took me to a Denver Broncos game. I have been a fan since I was a small child. I grew up in an area of California that was very far from any major football team. My dad, a 49er fan for life, was in a Monday Night Football group and they had a very strict “no girls” policy. This intrigued me so much and I wanted to know what was so cool about football that us girls couldn’t be a part of. One day I asked my dad which team was the absolute worst in the league. He told me the Denver Broncos. Oddly enough I was born in Denver even though I moved to California as a baby, so Colorado would forever be on my birth certificate. Therefore, the Blue and Orange Stallions just seemed like a natural choice. Also, I have always been one to root for the underdog, so it just made perfect sense that I immediately became a diehard Denver Bronco fan. The following two years they won back-to-back Superbowls. I know it, and they know it, it was because of my obsession with them. I had a life-size cutout of Terrell Davis in my room and I would collect just about anything and everything that was even remotely related to that team. When I met your father and learned that he too was a Denver Bronco fan, I immediately said yes (in my head) to his inevitable will you marry me question. Neither one of us had ever been to a professional football game and I think its safe to say, we nailed it. Your Grandma and Papa came to stay with Current Stella in San Francisco so we could make this birthday dream come true.

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My mom, your G-ma, is a huge San Francisco Giant’s fan. Not to get all weird and morbid, but I know for the rest of my life I will always think of her when I’m watching a Giants game. If she ever passes, which she can’t because she is immortal, but if she does, I know I will find great comfort in knowing she is watching all the games from the best seat in the house. I also envision her tending to a massive magical garden and dancing around in beach attire with a glass of the finest champagne. That’s how I picture my Post-Life Heaven Mommy. It’s actually really therapeutic to imagine a Post-Life Heaven Mommy. If you need help coming up with my post-life description let me help you out. First of all, hopefully I’m in pajamas. I can also guarantee that in my post life I will never miss a viewing of what I call a “Pink Cloud Alert.” A Pink Cloud Alert happens during those few minutes right before the sun rises and sets that turns the surrounding clouds into the most delicious salmon pink color. It gets me every time. Also, my post-life self will have Gail the Puppy at all times except that in heaven she will be able to talk and we will just hang out on one of those cushion cabanas that fancy hotels have by their pools (I love those things). My post-life self will read a book and write in a journal every single day, and check Instagram roughly every 5 minutes. If I ever see you doing something embarrassing on social media then I will see to it that you wake up with a massive zit on your face. Post-life mommies can do shit like that. Oh, and I almost forgot, during football season, my post-life self will be running down the sidelines smacking all the football players on the butt.

Here was my Birthday Pink Cloud Alert
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And here I was on my 32nd Birthday
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The day after my birthday your Dad and I explored the “island” of Coronado. Your dad is pretty much obsessed with ferries or any activity that involves being on the water so our 5 minute boat ride to the dock of Coronado was way more fun that it should have been for him. Once we were there we rented a tandem bike and pedaled all over. I am embarrassingly sore from it. I swear getting older really blows.

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Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, today you came home from school and told me that you learned how to “Whip” and how to “Nae Nae”. I was so embarrassed for you because that dance has been around for almost a year and it is definitely no longer hip. AND you were doing it wrong. I might be really, really old, but I know cool and that wasn’t cool.

Love,

Mom