Friday, April 24, 2020


Dear Zoey,

14 and under quarantine. There’s really no cute marketing way to spin this—it’s plain old fucked up. No birthday party, no extended family dinner. Of all the ways I feel like my generation and the generations before have messed up your generation, this takes the (birthday) cake. But I’ll save my lamenting for another day. Today is your birthday, and truly, honestly, there is no one I’d rather be in quarantine with than you.

I keep getting warned about the pissy teenage years. Lord knows I was a punk ass pissy teen! I can still be a punk ass pissy 47 year old. But so far, you are still as sweet as ever. All big eyes and bigger heart, goofy sense of humor. You spend much of your time in your room, true, but you are in there painting or drawing, and you welcome me in, ask me questions on how to shade noses and jawlines, how to add light to hair. (The only time you make me leave is when you are playing guitar or ukulele. I know you know, but I stand outside your door and listen.)

Oh Zoey, at 14 you show me photos of Timothée Chalamet and young Leonardo diCaprio because they are so cute. (You have good taste.) Whenever I go in your room you are listening to music that I have never heard but really like, so you made me my own playlist titled, “I’m a Cool Mom.” But you are the cool one, Zoey. You love surfing, skateboarding, art, music, making açai bowls with granola and a drizzle of honey. But the very best part of all is that you know who you are and are just you. Plain and simple. Not afraid of disappointing anyone really, only of disappointing yourself. A nose shaded wrong, it happens, and you stare at it while I stare at you, so proud of who you are at 14, my forever funny Petunia Faced Girl.

I love you, I love you, I love you,