What I’d Like to Tell Her

Me, in 7th grade, at a friend’s house, before a dance.

You’re going to be okay. In fact, you’re really, really, really going to love your life. It’s going to take awhile though.

Your parents are doing their very best.  They don’t have a clue what they are doing and all the anger and frustration and unfairness of it all – those feelings are completely justified but maybe cut them some slack. You’re going to grow up and become a parent and not have a clue what you are doing either.

It’s okay to still like Barbies (and it’s okay to hide it) but your taste in boys could use a little work. (You’ll figure it out.)

You’re going to get boobs and your period (and eventually wish for less and fewer) so stop worrying so much.

The obsession with paper and pens is only going to become more expensive. Same with books. And don’t even get me started on yarn.

Stop being such an asshole. You aren’t actually better than anyone (or worse) and being a jerk to people probably isn’t the best way to go about making friends.  In fact, you’re going to end up married to someone who didn’t even get a college degree (gasp). And he’s going to be the smartest man you know.

Don’t skip cross country or track your senior year. Your mom is right about this one.

You don’t need to have an opinion on everything. Actually, at 37, I’m kind of jealous at how bad ass you are when it comes to speaking your mind.  I wish you had a little more tact, but I could use some of your backbone these days.

Math gets easier.  In fact, when you’re in college, you’ll positively LOVE it.

You really are awesome. And adorable (I know, I know – you hate it – but it’s true.). And you’re softer than you know (which actually makes you tougher, even if you don’t get that yet). And I love you.

Finally, you should set aside those earrings.  When you’re going through pictures and stumble on this one, you’re kind of going to wish you still had them.

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  • Oh Kate. I love this post. I might have to write my own. It looks like fun. I taught middle school in the 90s. My favorite teaching years. There is something about kids that age that just gets me. So young/old. So vulnerable and tender. So open, still. Firbjust a very short time.

    • Oooh! I hope you do. I’d love to read it!

      It’s strange looking back and thinking of me then because it’s me but it’s also not (if that makes any sense). I feel a tenderness and protectiveness toward the girl me and wish I had the adult me to say the things I really needed to hear at that time. I wonder if I would have listened or what would have been different if I had the knowledge that I have now. I spend hours down the rabbit hole of what would be different, and what would be the same, and would I be as happy today if I were less miserable before but…there’s laundry and dishes and Christmas still to be put away so I probably shouldn’t spend that time today. 🙂

      You are a special kind of teacher, Rita. My mom is currently teaching in middle school and we laugh that it takes a certain kind of person to really enjoy it. (I am not such a certain kind of person, but I hope to become a little more of one before my kids reach that age.0

    • Thanks, Marian. I’ve had my moments and I’m sure I will again, but I’m very grateful to be where I am today. 🙂

      How are those socks coming along?

      • Oh, we all have our moments!!

        Thanks for asking about the socks! They’re coming along, but slowly, it seems. I took them to hockey practice yesterday, hoping to get an hour’s worth of knitting in, but couldn’t because it was too cold in the arena (usually it’s just warm enough that I can manage to knit, but not yesterday). My husband and I are also watching season 5 of Downton Abbey right now, meaning my evenings have had to be knitting-free 🙁 . I hope yours are coming along at a speedier pace than mine!