Thursday, April 13, 2017

April 13th: 2000-2017

Hello Rubith (Google kept wanting to autocorrect that to 'rubbish'. Do you know them?).

For your whole entire life I have been perfectly content with the exact age and person you were at the time. Never wanted more or less than the 'you' I got in the moment.

But guess what? Time is moving and I am getting older and I think more and more about memories and the space they are created in. I suddenly feel aware of time. It is a physical thing I make an effort to feel *time* on my skin, in my bones. I want to be surrounded by it like a grape suspended in some gracefully elegant jello mold. The past is gone! Holy shit. I get it now and I get that I can't get it back.

I am finally, 17 years later, wanting time to stop.

Make no mistake, child. I live and breathe your every move.

I think on every single conversation, text, every meal we share, lipstick we buy,  concert we go to, fight we have (they're all your fault), choice we contemplate, joke we make, kid/teacher/random human we roast. And I savor these things like the gin and tonic I have tucked into my side as I write this.

The other day I told you that the only reason I know a kid is a good kid is because I compare them to you. Ruby, the power you wield in our family and in your world... you have no idea. From the time you were dropping notes from the second floor to remind me of my deficiencies, you have been a purveyor of justice and truth. We all (and I mean ALL) look to you as a beacon of "wtf am I doing?" and "how can I do it better". You are good. And the only thing I want to do is relish, capture, enshrine in volcanic ash for ever and ever and ever, your goodness.

I am so proud that you are my child. That you are an artist. That you feel and see the world through the eyes of a fierce and genuine feminist. That you love your siblings and are willing to defend and care for them to the ends of the earth. Gah! I am like the annoying geese in our backyard right now! So puffed up and proud and blinded by love (except that you know I'm right, I'm way smarter than the geese. Let's just clear that up).

You're 17 years old. 17. Why does that seem so monumental? I tried to explain to you the other day why I feel this way but I'm pretty sure I wasn't able to articulate it well enough because I'm still not as smart as I think I am (this is not a problem you will ever have, by the way). 17 is a number that is thick in my mouth when I say it. It sounds round and brown and rich in my ears. It is a determined and steady current in front of my eyes; rolling along like the wave machine I was mesmerized by at the New England Aquarium when I was a kid.

I'm worried for the first time since you were born that I will miss parts of your life. Why I didn't realize that till now is really fucking embarrassing, I must admit.

Time. 17 years of it have flashed like a 4th of July sparkler. I want more sparklers. I want more matches.

Happy Birthday, sweet child. Happy Birthday.