Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dear Me... (part 1)

Dear Me-of-1975,

It's future you of 2008 that is. I know, I know. This seems like one of those freaky things you'd see on those classic 60's sci-fi television show reruns that channel 29 has on afterschool. This isn't an episode from Lost In Space, Star Trek or the Twilight Zone. It's not. Just go with it, okay?

Now, I know you've been out of sorts of late - especially with Grandpa passing away. That changed a lot of things. You stopped going around the corner from School 4 every day for lunch - something you did for nearly four years. No more lunch consisting of cereal, orange juice, toast with strawberry jelly and a soft-boiled egg (I know - it sounds more like breakfast, but you/me/we liked it). So now it's peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches in your lunch box shaped like Snoopy's dog house. Ah well. You are a creature of habit and prefer to keep things the same. I know. That hasn't changed much. Routine helps you keep everything in check and, you hope, blocks out the bad stuff from occasionally happening. It doesn't though. Bad things are going to happen occasionally and you just need to learn to adjust to them. And that's hard too. I understand that - I should - I am you, after all.

And I know that this was a hard thing - your first brush with the death of someone we knew. In the next thirty years, you'll lose uncles on both sides of the family and aunts on Dad's side of the family, the rest of your grandparents and even co-workers. I wish I could tell you it gets easier to handle, but it doesn't. It's just one of those things from life. You just have to learn to make the most of every moment you can with people.

Yeah, you'll spend a lot of time at Nanie's house over the next few years - and it certainly won't be the same with Grandpa gone, but you will cherish the memories of this different time just the same. Lots of television watching on weeknights and some on weekend nights when you have dinner over there. Those dinners will be a lot of fun, usually when Mom and Dad have something to do out at the country club. Nothing like a good Delmonico steak. Oh, and when Aunt Florence serves up ice-cream, be prepared to eat a huge slab. She likes to cut them in slices from the cartoon. Stick with the strawberry portion of the Neopolitan - it doesn't touch the chocolate.

After fifth grade ends in the Spring, it'll be time for more change. Time to leave School 4 and all the teachers you know. Sure, most of the kids you know now will be at the Middle School too. These are the kids you've grown up with - from the neighborhood on Green Street and the other streets nearby. But there will also be those from the other elementary schools in town. This'll be a good thing for the most part. Just stay alert and be smart about decisions. I know you'll do fine. You're not in the advanced reading class right now for nothing.

Oh, and choir - even though your brother and your cousin were in it, it's probably not right for you. Oh, I know you're getting to be one of the soldiers in the Valley Forge dance number in the George Washington musical this year, but maybe there's a reason for that. I'm just saying. We can enjoy and appreciate music even if we're not very good at performing it ourselves. Sometimes the world needs people to make up the audience too, you know?

Let me end with something good. You know how you're switching over from "kiddie comics" (Archies, the Gold Key stuff, Harvey titles) to super-hero books? Well, some of those books you're buying now off the spinner-racks will be ones you'll have for decades. See, you won't have to lose touch with everything from your childhood. You can keep pieces of your past to go with the memories. Believe me, it's the memories that make them even more cherished treasures.

Last thing, do you know where our Wacky Package stickers are and the homemade ones we did on paper during the summer afternoons this year at the Gloff's picnic table? If so, can you try to keep track of them? You might not think that much of them right now, but believe me someday you'll be interested in them again. Just some fair warning. ... What? You're not sure if you've seen them recently? Just look, please. Thanks.


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