Do you ever wonder if the 10-year-old you would approve of you?
Forgive me if the question sounds garishly Disney. I’m not talking about reincarnations of our shorter selves suddenly appearing in our lives and making nuisances of themselves a la The Kid; I’m just wondering, if we were to run into one another on a bus stop bench and spend six minutes comparing notes, what might my 10-year-old self decide?
I don’t really know what her overall impression would be, but I can think of a few things she’d be annoyed about:
1) I’m going to wear glasses? When does that happen to me? (Answer: right before the braces, kid. Get over it.)
2) I’m not a nun? Then sheesh, where’s my husband? I don’t have one of those either?
3) I still haven’t published a novel? I’ve had fifteen years! What have I been doing all this time? (True art takes time, dearest.)
4) I’m not a concert pianist? (But I have five students. Count them: five. Doesn’t that mean something?)
5) Where’s my cat? (Whew. Long story, but the short answer is, I’m sure it was quick and painless, and it wasn’t my fault.)
6) I don’t ride horses? (No, but I own a cute car…and a fabulous bike. Not the same? Oh. Sorry.)
7) I haven’t moved to England yet? (Home of the late greats: C.S. Lewis, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and Charles Dickens…back then I didn’t differentiate, I just loved them all.)
8) I still haven’t discovered a secrete passageway in my house?
9) Okay, how about a friend’s house?
10) You mean I haven’t been involved in at least one epic battle or had my life seriously endangered in some (heroic) way? (Does being in a church during a breaking and entering count? The guy did demolish a window…scary stuff.)
I think in general the 10-year-old me would shrug and sigh and say I’d done okay for myself. I have a job that allows me to read all day. Since that’s all I did at 10, there’s no big surprise there. I still do play the piano, even if not professionally. I have great relationships with my siblings. And I have something now I could only dream of at age 10: great friends.
And hey, little one, cut me some slack. I’ve still got time on a lot of these others. Except, maybe, the riding horses part. Those animals are very big and very scary. You missed your chance on that one.