I know I’m getting older. My arthritis riddled joints do a solid job of reminding me every morning when I struggle to get out of bed and spend the next 45 minutes limping around like a pirate with a peg leg and possible scoliosis. And if by midday I’ve managed to forget that I’m no spring chicken there’s always some schmuck who comments on my shoes that I purchased back in the ancient age of 2006 with “oh my gawwwd, I was in 7th grade.” Cool. I know you’re kind, you’re probably the same girl who would tell someone their ass is getting fat when they’re 36 weeks pregnant. No one likes you.
Bitter is not my best look.
This really isn’t about me anyhow. The other person getting older? Rinn.
As of today, I’m the proud new owner of a 4-year-old. At the risk of sounding cliche, it happens in an instant. One day, in a fit of nervous excitement, you’re toting home the tiniest of helpless humans and the next, that same human is a pocket-sized person is giving you grief about your sandwich cutting technique while aiding in the unloading of the dishwasher. (What? Sorting the silverware is just awful and there’s no such thing as a free lunch.)
As a parent, your child will never outgrow being your “baby”. Just ask my dad, his favorite past-time, regardless of my protests, is reminding me that I’m still his baby. My body tells me in 76 and my parents coddle me as if I were 5. It’s all very confusing. But it was in the moment that I snapped the photo below when I realized there isn’t a lot of baby left in my own child. He looks damn near grown and I quickly kicked myself for wishing he’d gain that extra pound so I could get him into a booster seat and I could put the days of wrestling with a racing harness behind me. I probably would’ve wept in that moment but he immediately shouted that he was "very sorry" because he "might’ve just pooped a little in [his] pants."
With that said:
To My Dearest Rinn,
You can slow down now.
Sure, the prospect of growing up sounds enticing (no one is going to tear you away from “farming” for 15 minutes and force you to try and poop) but it also comes with car payments, heartbreak and you’ll spend entirely too much time yelling “REPRESENTATIVE” in various accents and inflections at an automated customer service message.
You still love basketball, soccer and running bases because it’s pure unsullied fun and those brown sugar Pop-Tarts and Wendy’s french fries that I’ve allowed you to sustain yourself on won’t go straight to your thighs.
More importantly, and ultimately selfish on my behalf, I just adore that you consistently tell me “mom, you’re my best friend” and mean it. Granted, I used to chalk it up to being your only friend because, let’s face it, you didn’t get out much (remember when you thought the trick-or-treaters were your “friends” and cried yourself to sleep because you wanted them to come back and play?) But now, you go to school and dance class and have a basketball team so I take great pride in knowing I’m still at the top of that list. Someday I’ll have to enforce a curfew or you’ll be less than keen on helping me unload the dishwasher; and it’s guaranteed I’ll disapprove of a future girlfriend; I won’t be your best friend anymore. It’ll be some kid down the street named Cletus who I’ll spend much of your teen years being weirdly jealous of because he’s the reason I dropped a few rungs on the friendship ladder.
So again, slow down. Let us enjoy these days where it’s still hilarious that you mispronounce pumpkin as a certain f-word and I know your whereabouts each night without having to draft a text message (which you will undoubtedly ignore.)
I love you Rinn and welcome to 4!
“Your Best Friend”