Dear Teenage Mitchell,
Hi there, Mom here. I thought I’d take a quick break from your preschool years to write you a quick note.
You love me. Like, a whole lot. A whole, whole lot. You just turned 5, and instead of stretching your little independent legs, you’ve tightened your grip on my leg. You scream at the thought of spending any time away from me. You sit on the toilet while I shower so we can continue our enthralling discussion of what it would be like to live on Jupiter. You spend every night on the floor next to my bed and ever morning curled up against me, little-spoon-style. You can’t wait to show me something new you’ve just seen in a book or update me on the goings-on of the Bubble Guppies tribe, even though I’m right there and already know. You love teaching me things, and since you have a steel trap for a brain and regularly converse with your dad about the solar system, you get the opportunity to give me new information quite a bit.
You’re pretty cool, so usually I don’t mind all this togetherness, but we’ve been trying to transition you to preschool, so I’ve been trying to get us both some space lately. You, obviously, don’t agree with the necessity of either preschool or personal space, so we’ve been at odds a bit these last couple weeks. But after a long day at the zoo during which you accompanied me to each and every bathroom break (2 kids + 1 adult = way more body mass than a restroom stall was designed to hold) I was feeling a bit wretched. On the way home, your grandpa reminded me that I’m your best friend.
Holy crap, he’s right! I am your best friend. There’s no other point in your life when you will choose me over all others. Ok, maybe once I employ some bribes, which I totally plan to do, but even then, you’ll most look forward to telling your friends all about your day when we’re done. And you’re fun. I genuinely look forward to showing you new things. Your happiness is infectious. I don’t buy you things or take you places because you throw a fit or whine, I do it because a smile from you can set our day on an entirely new course.
I guess what I want to say is, I love you, Mitchell. And right now that feeling is mutual. So when you’re a teenager and get embarrassed just being seen in public with me, can you maybe just remember how you felt as a 5-year-old and hang out with me for just a little bit? I miss you. I promise no singing (you can’t stand that even now).