Today’s guest post is brought to us by Jenny Eckton. Jenny is the mother of six children: five alive, and one in heaven. She grew up in New York but now calls Utah home. Her likes include laundry, going to dinner with friends, being organized, making her husband laugh, and the fact that her kids now walk to school. Her dislikes include writing her own bio. She blogs at formerly phread. Thanks Jenny!
Dear 14-year-old Me,
Hey. It’s me (you) here, and we’re 31 now. I know as well as you do that you won’t take to heart what I have to say here, but I can’t get it off my mind, so I’m going to tell you anyway: Don’t worry so much. It will all work out.
Let me tell you something funny that happened a few weeks ago. I went to Draper (oh, you live in Provo now, and have for quite some time—weird, I know) for a wedding open house, and guess who was there: Josh. I’m not kidding. See, he’ll move back to Utah in a few short years, and other than once when he visits New York for a funeral, this is the next time you’ll see him. What’s interesting is that—and here’s where I doubt you’ll believe me—you haven’t thought of him in well over a decade. He looks the same, only older. He has been married, divorced, and married again, and he said he has five kids. He met his current wife playing softball. We didn’t talk too terribly much, but he did mention something about a turtle; I had no idea what he was talking about until my memory did a quick scan and all I could remember was that there was an inside joke involving… a turtle? That’s when I knew I had to write to you, because I know that it’s all you’re thinking about right now. Can you believe that you won’t even remember the details later?!?
Like I said, I know you’ll listen but won’t really hear what I’m saying to you right now. And I’m not here to play fortune teller. Oh, how I wish to warn you! I want to tell you who to stay away from, and what to do, or more importantly what NOT to do. But I won’t. And the main reason for this is: I like you. Me. I love and like us. Everything we’ve gone through has brought us to this point, has added to the experience. It’s what’s made us, me.
I made you a promise, over and over, that as an adult I wouldn’t forget what it was like to be a kid, to be a teenager, to have all the angst, and no one on your side. I’ve done my best to remember, and in that vein I’m making a new promise, which is to apply those memories in dealing with our kids (hint to whet your appetite: at LEAST one daughter who is EXACTLY LIKE US).
As a final send-off, just a few vague reminders and things I’d appreciate you working on for me over the next several years: Be nicer. Exercise. Continue writing. Don’t doubt yourself.
(Heh heh…who are we kidding?)