Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dear Babies,

Ten years, that sounds like a long time.

When you’re little, the difference between 1 and 10 years old is a really long time. So much happens in that period. From one to ten you literally grow into a different person.

Ten years ago today I met your father. I was twenty-three then. I wasn’t crazy about my hair which was long and thin and brown. I thought I had cellulite but now I know, oh no, I did not. I went through a phase of really thinking that I looked like an elf. I would push my ears forward while looking in a mirror and say “how much of an elf do I look like when I make this face!” And my friends would say, so just don’t make that face. One of my main stresses was work. I had just been hired as an editorial assistant at More magazine, which was funny, because I always wanted more. My job was to assist the editor-in-chief; so much of it was just answering her phone…but oh, I thought it was so stressful. My pages were the contributors page and the letters-to-the-edtiors page, but I was pining for a by-line. I would have taken anything front-of-book (those light articles the size of a paragraph in the first quarter of a magazine on anything from the latest food craze–green tea!–to five things you never knew about Julianne Moore). I was looking for an apartment with my college roommate. We saw one over the Pig & Whistle in the 50’s on the east side that was one long and narrow wood floor on a downward slant, we said it was like a bowling alley. There was some family stuff going on with Nanny and Grumpah. I thought it was a really tough time. I went out lot with my friends but not as much as we did in college, rarely on a school night. Twenty-something’s salaries at least afforded us Heineken, better beer…

I’m thirty-three now. I’m not crazy about my hair, which is shoulder length and thin and kind of blonde. Now I know what cellulite is. I often scrunch my face in the mirror and say to no one “how old do I look when I make this face!” And you will probably say, so just don’t make that face. One of my main stresses is work. Guess what, I still want more. I still want to be published, only now I’m aiming for bigger fish; I went from front-of-book to an actual book. I went bigger on the living situation, too, I own a house. Things are better with Nanny and Grumpah (but hey, there will always be drama). I’m a mom, now, so everyday is a tough time when you’re trying to keep two people alive. I have plans to go out with some girlfriends in July. We won’t drink Heineken, but martini’s or good wine…

I’m still reading Diane Keaton’s memoir, “Then Again,” can you believe it? At this rate I will be forty-three when I finish. You would think, hmph, how dull, Diane Keaton writes a book just because she’s famous! What could she know about life? What are her problems? She dated Warren Beatty, for crissakes! But then you read about her at the Cannes Film Festival in a suite at the Carlton hotel. How she’s staring up at the fancy ceiling after her dad had died and her ex-boyfriend, Al Pacino, just had a baby and her other ex, Warren, is married to Annette Benning. And there she is, lonely, staring up at that ceiling, missing her dog.

I woke up this morning and I tried to fix your bathroom toilet. It sounds like there is constant water running, and it’s driving me crazy. Your dad is still working so much and this weekend, it’s father’s day, so I don’t want to ask him then. So, I tried to fix it myself–and I had no idea what the hell I was doing. And it was kinda gross. I loosened this one screw, only to tighten it again. That did nothing. So it’s still running water.

In the car before driving back from lunch with you guys Bob Dylan’s “Shelter From the Storm” came on the radio. I turned the volume up and said, “good song.” That song is four years older than I am, and it’s still such a good song.

Maybe that’s what make the stretch from 1-10 and 23-33 so different. The things you learn in that first stretch, from walking to tying your shoes to writing your name and so on, you pick up and take with you. You start off as one thing, a baby, and then you exit that decade completely different as a full-blown kid. The things we learn now sit with us and imbed in our memories and our hearts. We become these layered people with presents and pasts and crazy ideas of the future. And as we head into those futures, there’s “Shelter From the Storm” coming on the radio again, lingering, yet changing form.

Drinks on the house tonight. Here’s to another ten years.



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