Thursday, June 28, 2012
Open Letter Week - Letter to a 40 year old me. (Thanks, Chelsea.)
I'm embarking on a week of open letters. How about you? Do you have a letter in you that the world might like to read? Post them to your blog and link up at the bottom of this post, so that I can check them out and maybe share them with my readers, too.
A letter to a 40 year old me,
I remember a time where I thought that being twenty-seven was old, where I'd learned everything, already. Looking back, now, I cringe at my stupidity.
I'm thirty-three today. Do you feel ashamed of me, thinking back? Do I seem puffed up and important beyond what I deserve?
I feel a little nervous thinking of you. I hope that things are different, inside your head. I hope that you've learned how to control yourself a little better. I hope you're centered and strong and deliberate in your actions. I hope that you wake up knowing for sure who you are.
I knew everything for sure at twenty-seven, and I don't know anything, now.
Have you ever stopped feeling swallowed up by motherhood? Scouty is twelve years old and Louise is nine, in your world. Do you still breathe every breath because they need you? Do you still eat for them; gently shake them awake at night to bring them into bed with you on nights where it's cold or storming? Do you worry they'll feel afraid when it thunders? Are they still braver than you, with all of your plans to conquer and live like a viking? Did you ever become comfortable with your size against the world, and with the size of them in your heart? Or are you still feeling along the walls of your amniotic enclosure for a tear, waiting for a day when you've finally discovered your own air and your own ocean of possibility, as something other than their mother?
I can't imagine that in seven years, you've stamped down your dirt. I can't imagine what it will be like to have children, but to not carry them everywhere. I hope your knee isn't bothering you so much, now that you only have yourself to carry.
I'm curious about your garden. I have plans for it, you know. I want to start prying up bits of sod, slowly, at first, so as not to raise any eyebrows. Eventually, I'll excavate the second level of the yard, growing plump, obscene tomatoes and fat, sweating cantaloupes. When you're forty, do you still get a little hot over seed catalogs in January? Do the possibilities of growth and wildness and life still get you tangled up in your winter sheets?
I'm afraid to ask you about the girls. They're gorgeous, aren't they? They're golden and those big brown eyes, they break your heart with every flutter of their eyelashes, don't they? I bet you can hardly stand to look at them, they're so devastating. I guess in that regard, nothing has changed.
Maybe not so much has changed, at all. Maybe seven years snake by and everything is easier and harder only imperceptibly, and you still feel like the same person you always were. You still feel like a little girl from a dirt lot in a trailer park who never got her bearings. You still feel clumsy and giant and awkward. You still get uncomfortable passing someone on the sidewalk, when should I look up and when should I smile? You still smile too soon and wish the world would fade away to nothing. You still like taking walks when it's raining because there won't be anybody to look at you and pass you and be friendly and say hello.
I hope I know you, already. I also hope that I don't.
Write an open letter to a crush or somebody you hate. Write one to your dad or the president or your newborn son. We don't care who you're writing to, just write a letter, and link up here.