I thought we should take some time to reconnect. I see you eating that tub full of butter on the kitchen counter, and I just want to pinch your cheeks. You should also know that in about 5 minutes you'll turn into a total narcoleptic, take off all your clothes and fall asleep on the counter. But it's ok. You're only four and still cute. Anyways. I thought we should take a little time. To tell you some things. About what life will be.
You're going to go through some hard things, and you're going to go through them alone. And that's okay. Because you will make it through them. You're going to grow up really quickly because of certain situations, and then in college you'll get to breath a little easier and sink back into a spirit of fun. It seems a little backwards, growing up hard and then having childlike, care-free times, but that's the way it is for you. Then more hard things will come, and every time they do you'll forget how strong you were the last time. Don't forget.
Remember that the good Lord gives you the strength to bear what you need, when you need it. Not before, not after. His strength will come in so swift and strong and overbearing that it will not be for weeks after you've survived the storm that you can even identify how you made it through. It is through this strength that you're able to keep going, no matter how much life throws at you. So be grateful.
You're going to be the only Catholic in your family, but this will not surprise you. You always thought for yourself and did you own thing, regardless. You still won't understand makeup, and you'll only start trying to blend eyeshadows when you're 22. You'll be the only one to go away for college and the only one to move out of the state, but again -- this will not surprise you.
Little Autumn, you're going to date some really bad people. Really bad. I wish I could hold your hand through it all, but I can't. And in these times -- in all times -- remember that you are the strongest, most resilient, bendy person I know. You flex when it's necessary, you adapt to your surroundings and you always come out the other side. No matter how many people cause you anguish, I know in the end that you have an unwavering capacity to forgive and love. You always try again. So hold on to that.
I laugh now when I think of our response when interviewers ask us why we want to work with children, what is our favorite part about them. And we've always responded, "because they're the most resilient little things. No matter what life throws at them, they pop right back up with the capacity to love and trust again. They're always willing to try again for that human connection." Don't you see?That's what I like best about you.
Well little Autumn, I think it's time for us to part. I love you to the moon and back and I hope you know that while you're busy growing up I'm here in the future fighting to become the woman we'll be proud of. Tooth and nail, just for you. I promise to try a little better and a little harder.
If you could write a letter to yourself, past, present or future--what would you say?