It’s been just over 6 weeks since I had my heart attack and I can honestly say that, while I didn’t exactly have a ‘come to Jesus’ epiphany, I was able to look back on my life and realize “Holy crap, I wish I was smarter.”. Which is why I’m going to take the next few weeks and write letters to my younger self with the hopes that someday, after I’m dead and gone, someone will dig up my writings and say “I told you he wasn’t that big of an a-hole.”.
Dear Me, ages 0-10,
Hey, buddy. I’m you in the future – around 30-40 years in the future. No, really! It is! And, um…I drive a flying car. You’ll love that thing 🙂
Anyhow, let’s have a nice heart-to-heart talk. There a few things I’ve learned over the years that will probably help you as you grow older. Who knows? Maybe you can change the future and make our lives even better! Are you ready for these words of wisdom? Dude, stop eating glue and pay attention! Ok, here we go!
- When you were an young’n living in Texas you should realize three things: don’t throw up on your dad’s back and on his favorite car; this will be the very last time in your life that you enjoy eating sea food; during Thanksgiving, while watching the Cowboys play on tv, don’t drink Dad’s ‘apple juice’. Hint: it ain’t apple juice and these days your parents could have been accused of child abuse for allowing you to drink Budweiser
- During one of the first days of kindergarten there will be this other little boy with what seems to be a huge afro named Aaron. He seems like a mean guy because, well, he is. While you’re sitting down listening to Mrs. Sacks he’s going to walk up behind you and punch you in the back and claim that you stole his ‘flesh’ colored crayon. Never mind that neither of you are the color of that stupid crayon. I’m not telling you to get up and kick his ass. He’s bigger than you. Like, freakishly bigger. I’m telling you to take your coloring book and put it down the back of your shirt. That’ll learn him. Oh, and good job on not crying. Thumbs up!
- Wow. Remembering about that whole Aaron thing reminds me of some other tidbits about school. Things like ‘DON’T LET YOUR MOM TELL YOU THAT ALL THE OTHER KIDS WILL ALSO BE BRINGING A BEE GEES LUNCHBOX TO SCHOOL’. Because they won’t. And, yes, you will be ridiculed. Seriously, the Bee Gees? Some kids had Evel Kneival or the Six Million Dollar Man. Not me.
- There will be a time when you and the family go strawberry picking. Here’s some words of wisdom: DON’T WEAR THE COWBOY HAT. You have no idea how many times your mom is going to pull out that damned picture she took of you while you were picking strawberries and then show it to your friends/girl friends. Yes, you look like a surprised migrant worker.
- Speaking of which, try not to let your mom dress you. You love her to death but you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache in the near future not taking your idea of fashion directly from her. Remember, she’s the one that dressed you in the shiny, silver disco shirt…with brown pants. And cowboy boots.
- During your very first trip to Washington, DC, with your mom don’t go all over the place screaming at the top of your lungs. Shit, if I knew it was that annoying I’d slap myself silly.
There are so many other things that I think you should know! Like, even though your dad is going to work so early in the morning or on a tour for a long time it doesn’t mean that he didn’t love you or miss you. That was just work and your bawling about isn’t going to make it any better. Oh, and when your grandpa first comes to the states? Your mom told you he was hard of hearing but that doesn’t mean that as soon as he sits down in the house that you should scream into his ear. Especially since it was the one with the hearing aid in it.
Oh, and when they take you to the duckpond across from the Botanical Gardens in Norfolk remember two things: that shiny rock that you want to throw in the water isn’t a rock. Some old guy just spit out a big, juicy one a few minutes earlier. Second, you’re going to fall in while wearing your Sunday clothes after church. Somehow I think this will play a part in why you’re not into the church thing in the future.
There will be the rockin’ Saturday morning cartoons that you’ll enjoy while you eat from the box of Cap’n Crunch. You should also learn to ride a bike earlier! It was so much more fun being a kid and riding around the neighborhood!
Ok, so I guess these weren’t words of wisdom. These were more like warnings. The only wise thing that I can tell you at this point in your life is to make sure that you love your family as much as possible. You don’t have to be sappy about it, just make sure that you appreciate everything that they do for you – even your sisters. Even after they dressed you up as a girl.