Having just celebrated a birthday with multiple 5’s in it, it seems an appropriate time for me to think about myself at five years old, my life stretched out ahead of me, cute smile, pinchable cheeks, neuroses already firmly in place (who knew?). If I could offer advice and comfort to that sweet little girl, what would I say? Here then, my words of Monday-morning-quarterback wisdom:
Dear 5-year-old me:
No, it’s not possible to flush yourself down the toilet.
No, you won’t always be painfully shy.
No, boys won’t always be gross (although men will, from time to time, act like gross little boys).
Yes, you will always be really smart (it will just take you about 20 more years to stop apologizing for it).
Yes, you’ll always worry everything to death and drive everyone to distraction doing it (but in an appealing, adorable way).
Yes, people will always tell you that you resemble Barbra Streisand (but no, you will never learn to sing on key).
Yes, the boy you’ll meet when you’re 17 will break your heart (but he’ll become your heart — and husband — 20+ years later).
No, boo-boos do not become bubonic plague, nor will you develop every disorder you’ll read about in your Abnormal Psych text (although you will diagnose yourself with a new one each week).
No, you won’t be a ballerina, a princess, a movie star, or a Rockette (but yes, you will write about all of them).
Yes, you’ll develop a sophisticated, wry sense of humor, but slapstick — and trying to make someone laugh hard enough so that milk comes out their nose — will always be dear to your heart.
And yes, a lot will happen in the next 50 years, but it goes by fast. Make sure the tires of your pink Schwinn (with the basket) are always inflated.
And yes, lose the training wheels.
© 2013 Claudia Grossman