read in case of emergency

Stella my love,

Mama tells you all the time to not be scared. But I've got to be honest, lovey lou. I'm scared.

There is a lot of spooky shit happening in the world, creeping closer and closer to home. I don't watch the news because a) Twitter keeps me in the loop and b) everything rotten in the universe is slammed right in your face and it makes my guts ache.

But the recent violence has been inescapable. I won't get specific because I truly feel even speaking about the crimes is what the bad guys get off on, so I'll just say this: people are hurting each other in surprising ways that can't be defended or expected.

Welcome to Mama's worst anxiety-inducing nightmare. I am sweaty everywhere.

I realized today as I pulled into a grocery store parking lot that if someone who wants to hurt people decided to do just that, on an otherwise uneventful sweet purple evening in Vancouver, that I needed to tell you a few things. Otherwise your last communication from me would be some version of a poorly autocorrected text to your Dad about loving you so so very ducking much.

I write a lot here about how hard it is being your Mom. Know that in 2014 me and everybody else with a url found some power and relief in being honest about the tits out, hands up in the air, eyeballs bulging, top of your thighs bruised by the roller-bar roller coaster ride of raising kids.

Looking back at the last three and a half years of posts, I realize the laugh was always at your expense.

I know it will be tempting with half of my messy genetic makeup to have your feelings tremendously hurt and wallow and swim in the pout, but please, rise above it sweet girl.

No matter what happens to me and you and us, I want you to read this blog post first. Then you can make your way back through all the posts about how weird and ridiculous you made my life and hopefully they won't seem so vinegary.

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I want you to know that making you was my greatest achievement. I was a consistent royal blue and gold Participation Ribbon girl until you flew out, locked eyes with me and flicked a switch in my spine that made it 75% steelier.

I make a crazy good gluten free yorkshire pudding and my smoky eye is baller, but they pale in comparison to you. That's why nothing on HBO can even compete with just watching you sleep. (When you have a kid that will seem infinitely less creepy.)

You are the most beautiful girl I know. Every day. Every minute. The way you compliment the ladies in our neighbourhood on their jewelry and nail "polsh" while totally ignoring their missing teeth or scarred limbs is so fascinating. You wear some version of princess-coloured glasses from the minute you pop awake and you best believe what you see changes me too. 

On the days where I fumble at how to talk to you, can't figure out what you need or begrudge the time you steal, you are still my favourite thing I've ever owned. After all the sleepless bullshit of that first year ended and you made me read to you, dance with you, sing with you, there was never truly any down side to being your Mama.

It's all how you look at it, my love. You taught me that. A shadow is a "scawwy monstuh RUNMAMARUN!" A mozzarella string is a mustache "LOOKAMEE!" A patch of crumb-coated floor with a blanket and pillow is a bed that royalty would covet.

Your singing voice is very loud. It drowns out a lot. Sometimes it makes the tap drip and dogs in the next building lick their balls until they bleed. It's weird that way. But, please, keep it. Flex it. Sing and kick and somersault like the world is paying you to do it. Those are selfish but satisfying pursuits that women in uncomfortable shoes will one day envy you for.

You're 3 and a half. You're still my pudding pop but almost ready to sit behind a desk and drown out a teacher while steadily applying a thin layer of glue to your hands to then peel it off slowly and satisfyingly.

As you get older and make your own footprints in the world, please don't be lazy or cruel to yourself or others. Know that you can crave what you don't have, but don't covet thigh gaps or hummingbird metabolisms. The shit you can't change can clog all your pores and cloud cover your lusts, and is such a waste of your time. Instead use that time to change how you feel about yourself. Love yourself a little more until you believe it, strong and true.

There are gross people in the world and I choose to ignore them. It would be cool if you did too. If you give them any part of you, they will win. 

I'm sorry for every time I said I couldn't do (fill in the blank) because I was working. Mama flailed around in her 20s instead of figuring out a proper career, so I am hustling. Thank you for being a part of that hustle. I was a writer long before I was your Mama, but when you kick started my heart with your tiny monkey feet, the words were suddenly very easy. Full, long, ripe sentences were created on my tongue and fingertips as you suckled away.

So, here's my debt partially paid back. I owed you some sincerity amongst the wave after wave of sarcasm. 

You are the reason and you are the answer.

You make every day seem 47% more zesty and 14% more difficult. Kind of like a Doritos hangover. The numbers will change but this fact never will: you are my everything, my love.

The day you became mine I became me.

And sorry again about all the poop stories.


your Mama