November 12 18

We’ve taken to calling Emily Tiny Mouse.

It’s just one of those sticky things, the same way Isabella became Bootsie years and years ago and I can’t actually remember the last time I called her anything but Bootsie and when I hear others refer to her as Bella or even — the dreaded — Izzy it just sounds wrong to me because she’s been Bootsie for as long as I can remember. I mean, it fits because you only have to take one look at her to realize that she’s basically just fun-sized Twix. I realize I’m not one to talk because as a recent back-to-back assessment revealed, she and I are basically the same height (“Just under 5’2” is what I will tell people; even though “Just above 5’1” is way, way more accurate, but just doesn’t seem o roll off the tongue as well. Or something.)

The thing, though, is that our Tiny Mouse is doing things that are not even in the least bit tiny. She is a lifeguard and a swim instructor who drives a car and does things like takes trains by herself to visit friends. She just APPLIED TO UNIVERSITY. That’s how they say it in Canada. Applied to University. It sounds very fancy and simultaneously prestigious and pretentious. But truthfully that’s just the Canadian way. Like bagged milk. Don’t you dare say college — that’s a different beast entirely. So, she’s applied to University which means that in seven months she’s going to be graduating from high school. My tiny mouse. I’m convinced that it’s not in my constitution to have children leave me. I know it’s an actual normal thing that adult children to do — she’s almost a real, live adult, she can vote in the next election thank goodness because the United States needs votes like hers, I won’t out her but the color of her vote rhymes with shmoo — but right now I just want my kindergarteners back who constantly told me that I didn’t need makeup and that when they grew up they’d 100% buy the house across the street from me so they could live near me forever.

Why didn’t I take a page from the Duggar handbook* and just continue to have as many children as possible so there would always be tiny mice around me at all times.

*Only the many children part — and maybe the long hair and jean skirt part — I’m not so into the tater tot casserole part or that {hork} creepy older brother part.

This past weekend I was speaking with a writer friend — she’s legit, guys. I’m less legit, my published books are way less, you know, interesting — and she said that I just need to carve ten minutes a day for writing, since we all are sufferers of that thing called LIFE, where every day is filled to beyond capacity and no day is predictable, what with all calls from the Tiny Mouse who left her very important chemistry notes at home and the professional development days where I have kids at home and all the parent-teacher conference days {over American Thanksgiving which is highly suspect} where I have kids at home — seriously my kids were off for an entire month for Jewish holidays and I honestly feel like they have not had one full week of school yet. But regardless, I’m committing to the ten minute a day challenge. I mean, it might be at 3 o’clock in the morning when my brain is not capable of much more than watching old episodes of Bob’s Burgers or catching up on Your Favorite Thing with Wells & Brandi podcast** and ordering unnecessary shapewear that never works and kitchen appliances that really only remind me of how little counter space I have and how long it takes to wash all of the small pieces of these appliances from very pushy Facebook ads. But! Ten minutes! Ten minutes is doable!

**Here’s the thing, I’ve mentioned before that I’m a huge podcast listener. As a photographer who doesn’t sleep, there are many, many hours spent driving to and from shoots, many, many hours spent sitting on my heiney editing photos and laying out albums and ordering prints and there are many, many hours when my entire house is asleep but I am wide awake thinking about that awkward thing I said last week at that party. I fill my television-watching time with good television — you know, the kind that wins awards and the shows I recommend to people when they are looking for new shows to binge — like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Handmaid’s Tale and Westworld, but I also fill my television-watching time with ridiculous things like The Bachelor and Survivor (YES STILL WHAT OF IT) and Sabrina. So, similarly to my tv tastes, I, of course, listen to some smart podcasts that teach me new things, but I also listen to some deliciously trashy podcasts hosted by that guy who was once on The Bachelor and that girl who has famous Cyrus sisters. You guys, I LOVE it.

But if you ask me for a television recommendation, I’ll tell you that I’m pretty into Billions lately. But I might want to tell you how I feel about those kids from Riverdale.

And if you ask me for a podcast recommendation, I will always tell you dig deep in the archives of Radiolab. But I might want to tell you that I can’t stop listening to an episode-by-episode recap of Beverly Hills, 90210.

It’s all about balance, really.

And it gives me something to discuss with Tiny Mouse too.

Before she leaves me.



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