My friend's five-year-old made a funny request. She repeatedly asked that I send a picture of myself to her mother's phone. I didn't ask why, as I generally oblige when children politely ask for things, regardless of how random the request may be. Like a good-for-nothing adult, I kept forgetting to send it, so after she brought it up for the third time, I pulled and texted this one, the last picture I took of myself from some time ago earlier this winter. I was trashed from little sleep, on FaceTime messing around with the phone, clearly reacting to something that made me uncomfortable.
I should ask that little girl what she plans to do with this. Kids know how to do all sorts of things on iPhones these days. Will she PhotoShop out my mole? Will she crop my head onto a Disney Princess? She's pretty fond of that Disney Frozen movie. We once watched the same four YouTube movie clips on repeat for an hour straight. That is an hour that I will never get back, but if we're going to talk about return on investment, watching her two-year-old brother belt out the movie's theme song at the most random of times is priceless.
It's been really nice to be around children again. That they are my friends' kids is a double perk. They never fail to energize my spirits. They are wonderful little things, busy being honest and real. As lovely as they are, I have been making a concerted effort to limit my time with them and their parents. They welcome me openly in their home, but I quietly straddle that fine line, wary of that one day when they will surely have had too much of me. As all my friends now have life partners and kids, I try to be sensitive to the family unit dynamic, recognizing that life is busy all the time, and that they only have so much time to spend exclusively together. So, I make appearances regularly enough, but make sure to build in breathing room, too. It's been a few days, which means that I'm due for a live musical rhapsody performed by a certain toddler. I can't wait. It's the sweetest thing in the whole wide world right now.