Present-day you meets 10-years-ago you for coffee. Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to.
( I just realized I misread this prompt, thinking I was meeting myself when I was 10 years old. Rather than rewrite, I decided to let it be. It was fun to write)
First off, you’re much too young to be drinking coffee. No ten-year-old needs the caffeine boost. So I’ll be glad to buy you a hot chocolate instead. Still has some caffeine, but not as much as my high-octane espresso!
Second, I don’t want to scare you, Honey. You want to know challenging things, rewarding things, and fun things. Sure, I’ll be glad to share those with you, but I want you to understand that at your age you just don’t need to know all the things I’ve learned, and the things I’ve had to learn that I really didn’t want to know. You’re still a child. Oh, I know–you hate being called a child. I’m you, don’t forget. I remember how that was. Fact, though, is that you are still a child and will remain so for a few years yet. You’re in the fifth grade, and you’re enjoying school. Good for you. Keep that up. Never lose your love of learning.
You play a wicked good game of tetherball, too. Yeah, I see your eyes light up. It’s the rhythm we have wired into us, you know? You’re really not much of an athlete, but you can win every time at tetherball because you have the rhythm down. You go, girl 🙂
Okay, back to the subject(s) at hand. One. The most challenging thing you will face in your life is rearing four children. You will have three boys and a girl, in that order. They will all be hard-headed, individualistic and independent, just like you and their dad. What? Who will you marry? No, no. That wasn’t part of the deal. I’ll let that be a surprise.
As I was saying, rearing kids is a huge challenge. You will love it, hate it, be worn out and energized by it. You will do a lot right, and a lot wrong. And you will find out that you never stop being a mom. Once that baby is conceived, it’s for life. What’s that? Conceived? Oh, your mom is going to talk to you about that very soon. I’ll let her handle it.
Second, the most rewarding thing. Well, you know, rearing four kids! But apart from that, I think the years I spent teaching history, English and music are possibly the most rewarding thing. What’s that? You don’t want to be a teacher? No worries, you will. And you will love it. There is nothing better than seeing some kid who couldn’t care less suddenly get a concept and come alive with it. Great stuff, trust me.
Third. Fun. The most fun thing you have to look forward to. That’s really a hard one. You and I tend to find a lot to laugh about, even when others don’t “get it.” We have a kind of off-beat humor that can turn sarcastic. You’ll need to be careful about that. You’ll offend people without meaning to, or even knowing it. But you know, I think I’m just going to have to beat the same drum. Rearing my four hooligans was often the most fun ever. I have great memories of sitting around the supper table with you all, and your dad, and laughing ourselves sick. What? What about? I don’t know, I can’t remember.
Was it ALL fun? Goodness no. You’re only ten, but you already know it wasn’t all fun, all the time. Life can be pretty serious. But the gift of laughter will help get you through the tough times. Don’t ever lose your sense of humor.
I didn’t mention the challenge of the work I’m doing now. Sometimes it’s a pretty dark place, but it really is tremendously rewarding.
What I really want to tell you is that you are on the right track in your determination to always keep God central. I know you’re trying to learn to read your Bible faithfully. You do really well at scripture memory. You need to learn to pray, though, and to take all your troubles to God that way.
Hey, it’s been great to see me again 🙂 You’re going to have a wonderful life!