Letter to my Future Self
Is it human nature to beat ourselves up when we make mistakes, to tally what all we did wrong instead of adding what we did right? I don’t know if it’s human nature, but it’s my nature. I wrote this letter to my future self, but today’s self needs it too. It’s not always the big and elaborate that makes life beautiful, and sometimes it’s in the small moments that we really live.
Dear Future Self,
If you are reading this, it means you are now an empty nester. I can picture you sitting on your recliner wondering where the years went, how the children all grew up so fast. You thought the little years would last forever.
Do you ever think back to those years when the house was constant chaos and long for a little of the mess now? I wonder if you have any regrets about the time you scolded the children when they emptied the box of Legos right before company arrived, or the time you pushed them out of the kitchen when they dumped your spices into a bowl to make a cake.
But lest you wallow in regret and wish you could do those years over, I want to tell you about Today.
Today I kissed the baby on his fat cheek and then tickled him under the chin until he was helpless with laughter. Then I kissed him again because those cheeks were so delicious.
Today I hugged each little bright-eyed girl as they got out of bed, and I tried to smooth their bedheads.
Today I made the children their favorite breakfast—toasted homemade bread with lots of butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. And then on a whim I blended frappes because I knew they’d be delighted. Well, to be honest, I wanted one and needed to make enough to share.
Today I paused laundry duty to look at a book with the baby when he was crabby. I made cow noises and played peek-a-boo til he toddled off, happy to play once again.
Today I took the garbage bucket out to dump and paused as I passed the mango tree to give the children a few pushes on the swing. My daughter informed me I couldn’t push very high because “you’re gonna get a baby soon,” but they seemed pleased even with my pregnant attempts.
Today I told the young helper standing on the stool beside me that she was going to grow up to be a good cook like her aunt, and she beamed with the praise and offered to help me set the table.
Today I left a note on the table for the first grader who’s just learning to read. It wasn’t anything profound—just that she could have watermelon for a snack (yes, I drew a picture for “watermelon” because she can’t read that yet).
Today I am ready to fall into bed with exhaustion. But I wanted to tell you, Future Self, today was a day well lived.