Dear Self at…

Age 2: You’re so proud that mommy hung that ornament you made.  It’ll be a few more years before you realize she hung it on the back of the tree.  Don’t judge – 30 years from now, you’ll be throwing away your kids’ artwork when they aren’t looking.

Age 5: Your kindergarten teacher IS scary but you’ll be with these kids for the next 13 years so no worries. The good ones will stay in touch much longer.

Age 10: He’s your little brother and you’re stuck with him for life.  The stupid fights you guys have now will teach you about dealing with people much later in life.  (There are many grownups who fight like they’re 10.) You will always value his friendship and opinion… and he will always know how to make you laugh.

Age 12: You’re right, you don’t belong in the lower level history class but that’s what happens when you slack off in 6th grade history.  Go show ’em.  Your hard work will be inspiration for the rest of that class.

Age 13: It’s not about what you lost in the house fire – it’s what you learned about relationships as you got to watch your parents work through it together.

Age 14 – 17: Yep, marching band is dorky and lord knows you don’t need any help in the nerd department.  But this is where you’ll learn the value of hard work and integrity. It will serve you well in your career and your life.

Age 17: He certainly is hot. He also has no respect for you. Move along.

Age 18 – 20:  STUDY ABROAD, YOU IDIOT.  The friends and the boy will be here when you get back.

Age 21: You will land an amazing job doing something you enjoy and you’ll turn it into a career you love.  Stop freaking out about it and enjoy your senior year.

Age 25: Sure, it’s completely normal to freak the F out after the wedding. (Or at least that’s what you’ll tell your friends who get married after you.) You just made a life-long commitment, you’re 25 and you know nothing. It’s fine.

Age 28: You will never ever regret getting your graduate degree.

Age 29: Stress is why you’re not getting pregnant.

Age 30 – death: This kid will ignite a fire in you that won’t quit. You are her best advocate and you call the shots. Sometimes you call the lawyers.  Whatever she needs.  The title of Annoying Special Needs Mom is actually quite gratifying.

Age 35: Don’t compromise your integrity to be part of the crowd. It will be hard at first but come easier with time. Surround yourself with people you love and those who love you. Your true circle is small but they are mighty.

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