#12

Dear Zoey,

Around birthdays, I tend to reflect a lot. I’m an insanely nostalgic person, and I think as long as you don’t live in the past, it’s good to look back and see how far you’ve come.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I would tell my former self. So, I thought it’d be fun to break it down into different “eras” of my life. If I could talk to my child self…the one right before puberty, the one who played hockey with the boys, but desperately tried to be girly enough for the friends around me. I would say this…

Don’t spend so much of your childhood trying to grow up. I know it’s natural to think about how much greater it is as an adult, and in some ways, it is. I mean, I get to eat chocolate almond ice cream any damn time I want (which usually means, I’m sneaking away in a room away from you, so you don’t steal any of it…sorry, I know…I’m cruel). Anyway, I was always obsessed with being older, trying to be more mature, pushing the boundaries of what it meant to be a kid. And if I could talk to that girl right now, I would tell her, “Slow down. You have plenty of time to grow up. Breathe in the summer air, run with your shoes off, get dirty, play until it’s dark outside.” Because those moments of childhood, are the ones you’ll remember. If I could talk to my 6th grade self, I would tell her…you are not as awkward as you feel. You are kind and interesting and valuable. I would tell her that she was smart for enjoying time with her parents, that those Barnes & Noble dates with your mom and dad would be something she would cherish forever.

In fact, I think I would tell my former self, in just about every era…to slow down. Life goes by quickly. I see it every day in the ways you change and grow. I mean, you are READING entire BOOKS now. It astonishes me daily what you have learned and how you have grown in a matter of 9-10 months. So, enjoy being a kid. And enjoy having a designated bed time. Trust me, you’ll regret all the hours you fought (I just wrote “fighted” by the way…phew, it’s been a long day) sleep.

I love you, baby girl…

Love,
Mama

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