Dear Lil J,
It is July, 1987, and you have just turned 5. I know for a fact 5 was/is a milestone age for you. I also know you know how to read by now (a little). I just want to say to you, have fun. No one is 5 forever and in your head, 5 will stretch to about to when your 8. I also wanted to tell you stay smiling. You are going to leave Mrs. Deans Daycare and go to school in September. It will be a little different but it will be ok. It will be a lot more kids to play with. Some will be mean, some may hurt you, and some will become good friends.
Now like I said I know you just turned 5 but ages 5, 6 and 7 will all blend together. Eight wil be… A big learning time for you. BUT, we will talk about that later. I want you to do something for me. Be confident (your 5, sorry), I mean be strong, not like He-Man strong but like Pidge from Voltron. I know you don’t think this but you are a lot like him. Don’t give me that face. Like Pidge you have a BIG mind full of so many thoughts. Your imagination is also so big. I bet you can build lego sets now. No Duplo for you.
Don’t worry about your size. You are the size you need to be. I know cousin Jeremy, Bruce, James, and Ty are bigger but who cares. You have a great smile, you are fast like Quicksilver (from Silver Hawks). You are quiet and ninja like, like Snake Eyes (GI Joe). You see the bright side of everything and everybody like the Care Bears. Don’t let anybody take that optimism (meaning that you are able to see all the good in the world) from you.
One more big thing. When you start school. Umm… well… some people will see you and not understand you. Um, ok, do you remember the Sneetchs and Snitches from Dr. Seuss. Remember how the Sneetches didn’t like the Snitches because they didn’t have stars on their bellies. Dumb right! Yea, never forget that story. You will start to meet people who see you and think like that. Its ok, they are not as smart as you and they still have some growing to do, even the adults who act like that.
So continue to smile, love and grow. Love on Cousin Bruce, Aunt Tina, Aunt Linda and especially Grandma Shirley, a lot. Hug them until you get tired. Take a break, then go back to hugging them some more. I’ll write to you again lil guy.
PS: Make mom buy every Voltron Lion. Not just the yellow one (the foot, really). All of them. Do whatever you need to do to make that happen.
What if a letter or a thought could transcend time. Not just from the present to the future but from the future to the past. What if you could talk to the younger version of you. Some of you would probably do it for personal gain and change the whole landscape of today (time ripple effects). Some of you would try to save humanity like stopping the Titanic from hitting the iceberg, ending Hitler, or (for us millennials) stop 9/11 . But are those people or events, inevitable or (like in Dr. Who) a fixed moment in time? Meaning you can’t change them. In spite of all we do it will happen anyway. Would you save a loved one? OR, would you take a less destructive (because all previous questions/suggestions result in some harsh effects over time and space like wiping yourself from existence) path and learn from your younger self?
This could be a long term experiment to test a theory. Could our words, data, innate desires go so far in the future that it reaches technology (or something transcendent from tech like spiritual powers. Not ruling out anything) that could put it back in the past. Could one sentence reach my younger self and give me a current boost of confidence, today. Like when we have a stray memory that just pops up. Is that us “remembering” an actual lived moment or is that a message being sent to your younger self and it then becomes a memory for your older self?
OR, could this all be therapy for me to say goodbye to loved ones and remind myself that I have all the tools to succeed. (Incoming, sappy cliche line). Only time will tell.