A while back there was a Google commercial where this dad created an email address for his newborn baby. If you’re a cynic, like myself, you were thinking “what the hell dude? That’s a little advanced for someone who hasn’t even discovered they have feet yet.” The next 60 seconds feature a variety of emails the dad sends over the span of his child’s life, probably to be unveiled when his “baby” is an adult, graduating from high school or something.
Which I should argue is hardly a measure for adulthood. Look! You successfully did what you were told under close and authoritarian supervision for 12 years! You’re so ready for the real world! Okay but first you should probably figure out how to file taxes and understand the importance of maintaining a good credit score. And change a tire. Maybe how to prepare for retirement. And definitely how to appropriately use social media. Because if a bad credit score doesn’t haunt you for years to come that trashy post of you peeing in the sink of a bar bathroom definitely will. (Not that I’m speaking from experience of course; I would never do that. Also, remember how loosely I use the word “never.”)
Back to the commercial.
It totally got me. Not as much the Procter & Gamble Mother’s Day commercial where all the kids end up Olympic athletes or Budweiser’s “someone waits for you” ad featuring the yellow labrador who waits for his owner who we are led to believe might not come home because he met a dismal end drinking and driving; those had me ugly crying. You know, like the tears you shed watching Homeward Bound or Armageddon, where you sob so hard and uncontrollably that you’re still puffy the next day. Come on, I can’t be the only one.
At some point I stopped weeping long enough to be inspired and thought “I’m totally going to do that.” And I did.
firstname.lastname@example.org was officially a thing.
I might have sent three heartfelt messages and then got sidetracked, probably with actually parenting. Shamefully, I would use it one more time when I wanted another free month of Netflix after the trial period using my personal email expired. Some of you are judging me right now, and some of you are judging me but have already left this blog post to go create emails for all of your children so you too can extend your free trials. I have either made you feel like a superior parent because you haven’t exploited your offspring so you can binge watch two seasons of Ozark for free or I have bestowed upon you a genius way to exploit your children so that you can binge watch two seasons of Ozark for free. Either way, you’re welcome.
What I didn’t realize when I made that lame attempt of sending Rinn emails documenting his life was that I was already doing that.
Duh, have you read this blog?
It’s all about Rinn.
Either directly (those secondhand stories detailing his life) or indirectly (those first-person narratives recounting my experiences as his mom); there are written accounts of most of our adventures, misadventures and everything in between. An open journal if you will, except this journal has visual aids, so it’s more of a scrapbook without all the messy cutting and glueing.
So Rinn won’t get to open an email from me dated February 3rd, 2019 wishing him a happy 7th birthday, he will get to read this post instead! Probably while wondering why it took me a page and a half to get its culmination and say:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RINN!
You are 7! SEVEN!
I find that hard to believe. It feels like just yesterday I was bringing you home from the hospital wearing only socks on my feet because my lower extremities were still too swollen from pushing to even put shoes on. Wearing socks outside in February in Wisconsin is not for the faint of heart but I hardly noticed because I was so consumed by your presence. And terrified of it at the same time. Now I get why people running from killers in horror movies never bother to put on sneakers. Not that you’re a killer in a horror movie, but bringing home an infant for the first time can feel just as perilous.
Now I look back and I think we did alright for first timers. You are turning out just wonderfully, better than I could have ever imagined, and the intensity of parenthood hasn’t given me gray hair yet so let’s go ahead and mark one in the “win” column.
I love you Rinn and while I make a silent (sometimes not-so-silent) wish everyday that you could stay my little boy forever, I am proud of the person you’re becoming. You are so kind, and funny and you’re imagination rivals that of Lewis Carroll. He gave a caterpillar a damn hookah so I think that’s saying something. You challenge me in all the best ways, okay so maybe in some painfully frustrating ways as well, but I can imagine that’s a two-way street. I am the first to admit that my “because I said so” argument is hardly rational. You are honest, and loving, and never afraid to be yourself (even if being yourself means wearing a full Spiderman costume complete with mask at the arcade) because of all this, you make my world the most amazing place to be.
Most days I can’t believe you’re mine, that I was special enough to deserve a kid like you.
So again, I love you Rinn! It is my hope that you have a wonderful year and thank you for letting me take this journey with you. Also, I’m sorry if someday you read this blog and find the contents utterly embarrassing and it prevents you from ever getting a girlfriend...actually no I’m not, never mind. LOVE YOU!
HAPPIEST OF BIRTHDAYS TO YOU SWEET BOY!
Also, if any of you would like to make up for my failings in the birthday email department, feel free to send him a message at email@example.com. In the meantime, I’ll be trying to figure out the password.