Circa 1990

I have a big box that I store under the bed in one of our spare bedrooms. If you aren’t using the space under your beds for storage, then you are missing out!

Anyway, in that box is a collection of stuff from my childhood. There are papers written for school, drawings for my mom, cards from my grandparents, notes and letters from friends, ribbons from track and field, letters to Jonathan Taylor Thomas and other random tidbits. The other night I went searching for something in particular. Even after finding it though, I continued on down memory lane, reading some of my papers, letters and cards.

At one point, I came across this little gem:

I still can't draw a stop sign.

I know they say that children can be cruel, but I’d always assumed this assessment was in reference to other children. Certainly not me. Now because this letter is singed signed “guess who”, I’m not prepared to take full responsibility for it. But the evidence against me is pretty damning. Number one, the letter in question was found in my box of childhood keepsakes. Number two, I did in fact go to school with a little boy named Joey, who did in fact tease me and try to kiss me on the playground, and I did in fact have a second-grade crush on him despite what that letter might claim. And number three, the handwriting looks suspiciously similar to that of the other items in the box. Crap!

So I guess it turns out that I was a brat. And a mean one at that! Though perhaps not as mean as I could have been because obviously I still have the letter, which means that it was never delivered to its intended recipient. I like to think my conscience got ahold of me and set me straight. Either way, my mom must have come across it and thought her child was a jerk it was worthy of saving.

I know as an elementary school kid, I wasn’t saving all of this stuff, so it must have been my mom. I’m really, really glad that she did. While some of it is a little bit embarrassing to look at, most of it is fun to see. I feel like I don’t have very many memories of childhood and it’s amazing how stuff can trigger those memories and bring to the surface things that you thought you had long forgotten.

So thank you, mom, for loving me enough to save all of these insignificant, silly things. Because while silly, they actually aren’t insignificant to me. I know that someday when I’m frustrated with my angst-filled pre-teens and teenagers, it will be comforting to go back and re-read some of the ridiculous notes I wrote to (but didn’t deliver) and received from friends in middle and high school. If you think the letter above is bad, you should see some of the other stuff. YIKES!

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