Things I Wish I Could Tell My Childhood Self

  • Dear Infant Laura: your thumb will not answer life’s overwhelming sense of existential angst and confusion.  Please don’t suck on it and ruin your entire mouth forever.  It’s not that tasty, and it’s not that worth it.
  • Dear Three Year Old Laura: sure, everyone laughs and thinks it’s cute now when you kiss four boys at church in a single morning.  You’d better get out of this habit soon, though.  Also, babies don’t spontaneously spring into being once you’ve kissed the same person too many times, so you can stop having panic attacks about that.  But maybe I should wait until you’re out of this phase to tell you that.
  • Dear Four Year Old Laura: you will always like the Power Ranger, Robin Hood and Aladdin costumes better than the princess ones.  That’s okay.
  • Dear Five Year Old Laura: want to know a secret?  There is no magic chemical in swimming pools that will turn the water around you purple if you pee.  The adults are lying to you.  Pee for just revenge!
  • Dear Seven Year Old Laura: your thumb still is not answering life’s overwhelming sense of existential angst and confusion.  And other seven year old’s aren’t sucking their thumbs at sleepovers when no one else is looking – it’s really just you now.  Stop.
  • Dear Seven Year Old Laura Again: you are having a rough year.  I don’t know if box bangs were your mom’s idea or yours, but they are doing nothing for you.  And stop looking up through them at everyone from behind your glasses like a little old gollum with low self-esteem.  If Gollum had your hair, at least he would own it.  You are chronically apologizing for everything and you don’t have to.  You should learn that sooner.
  • Dear Eight Year Old Laura:  You are now perhaps to old to crawl around on all fours under a black-and-white spotted blanket with a sock taped to your nose (on which you’ve drawn black-and-white spots) and call yourself a dalmatian.  Maybe try getting human friends instead.
  • Dear Nine Year Old Laura: green tights and a feathered opera mask do not make you a real alien.  If you climb on top of the house dressed this way, sneak up on people in the backyard and throw water balloons at them, no one will be convinced that an alien invasion is underway.  They will just think you’re even more deranged than previously suspected.
  • Dear Ten Year Old Laura: scrapbooking is awesome.  But you don’t have to do a seven page spread about the otters at the zoo to prove your zeal.
  • Dear Eleven Year Old Laura: playing sad songs on the piano when you are sad will not prompt someone to come up and compassionately ask what’s wrong.  They will just start hating you for only playing “Baby Mine” from Dumbo all the time.
  • Dear Thirteen Year Old Laura: I can’t stress this enough: razors are not tweezers.  If you don’t want to pluck your eyebrows, then don’t, but by all that is good in the world DO NOT TRY TO SHAVE AWAY THE PARTS YOU DON’T LIKE.  YOU WILL MISS.


  • Dear Twenty-Three Year Old Laura: don’t tell your Five Year Old self to pee in swimming pools.  Now people will think you do.

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