A new year, several years ago

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Have you heard? Today, June 1, 2011, is School Picture day.

I have read articles and heard stories of people writing letters to their younger self. Though I have written my younger self letters in my head, I have never put pen to paper about the topic. Then, a couple of days ago, I read a blog by The G is Silent. Her letter is not to her younger self; instead, her letter is to the young kids of 2011.

When I consider School Picture Day, letters to one’s younger self and Ms. Silent G’s letter to the good kids of 2011, I find this to be the perfect opportunity to write a letter to my younger self. I decided to write to my fourth grade self, because that was the start of a wonderful friendship.

Me (left) and my bestest friend.

The elementary school I attended from first through third grade was renovated and made into a school for handicapped and special needs kids. As a result, I moved to a new school at the start of my fourth grade year. I cannot say I remember the very first day I walked into my new school, but I can tell you I met my bestest friend. (Note to Editors: Yes, I know bestest is not a word. At least I didn’t say most bestest.) She and I became friends that year, and we remain friends to this very day. Trust me when I say, it’s been a few years since those pictures were taken.

Fourth grade was also the year I had my first crush. Well, my first crush at that school. Even though I was only in fourth grade, I assure you I had crushes long before that ‘Moon Eyes’ guy. Peter, Michael, Brian, Theodore, Darius, Thomas, Lincoln … Okay, I am exaggerating. Though Peter, Michael and Darius are real. (Aside: Peter was my crush in kindergarten. Interesting enough (to me anyway), Peter graduated from the same high school as my husband. Same year. Even better, they went to college together. Yeah. I know. Crazy! FYI: my husband has aged way better than Peter. D’oh!)

My apologies, I tend to get carried away when I think back to my school years. I was such a fly on the wall; I mean, I was a wallflower. I wanted to be a fly on the wall. Come to think of it, being a wallflower is about as as good as being a fly on the wall, right? This is me getting carried away again, eh?

So, to my fourth grade self, I would begin by saying, Be thankful your original school changed and you were sent to a new school.  I would let myself know that the girl I met and became friends with in fourth grade, helped me through some serious stuff later in life. To my fourth grade self I would say, Her friendship will never wane, and you will make many memories. I do not want to incriminate you or your friend by sharing the memories here; just know memories are made, all sorts of fun memories. And know she finds you funny, and she laughs at your jokes. Plus, she encourages you to write. Stick with her, Kid. She is a real forever friend.

Me (top left) and my best friend (bottom right). Campfire Girls.

Let yourself be goofy. Own it. You do goofy so well. Continue to write. Hold on to the piece you write about Mr. Parkinson. It will be the piece that you remember for the rest of your life, and you will be upset (years later) when you cannot find it to read. Try not to let math freak you out so much. Oh, and do not let the teachers fool you, you do not need to know about Farmer John’s blue tractor donning 4 red and black wheels, which rotate 5 times for every X number of inches the tractor travels on Tuesdays in the rain. 

You know what, Lenore? Just live your life the way you want to live your life. (And, continue your loathing of math.) The fact of the matter is that you turn out great. Sure, it will take a few (20) years for you to break out of your shell, but you break out, eventually. Though, I will tell you now, your boobs won’t grow. Sorry. And, do not buy into the hype about big boobs when pregnant, either. Won’t happen.

In other news, you will play sports. In fact, you will learn pretty quickly that softballs are not really soft. (You will still play, though. I guess you get used to the knocks.) Know what else? You will get to go on a date! Sure, you will not get asked out on a date until you are 19, but hey – it is a date. (Oh yeah, the thing that happens when you get nervous continues throughout life. Your best friend knows what I am talking about – check with her.) Do not let the late dating life bring you down. The guy you marry is really hot. Really hot. 100% worth waiting … and waiting …. and waiting …*yawn*… and waiting for.

You do run into a little problem with your temper. You may even throw things, like a bike. And maybe, you will slam doors. Okay, you will slam doors. Many doors. You might yell and scream, too. Okay, you will yell and scream. Crying? Yeah, you will do that, too. As a result, the following news should not surprise you: medication is in your future.

No worries, though, Lenore. As I said earlier, you turn out great. You and your hot husband make two great looking boys. You have a great family and wonderful friends. Plus, you meet some of the best people through blogging. So keep on keepin’ on, Lenore. It gets better, even as you get old.

Oh, Lenore. I do have one bit of advice – no, it’s not advice, it’s a directive. In college, when Tara asks you to go with her to the Lyons Apartments so she can hang out with this guy she likes, say no. She’ll tell you he has a friend. Still, say no. Say. No.

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32 thoughts on “A new year, several years ago

    • Thanks for writing your post, Kim. You helped inspire this one. Seeing as you felt as though the letter was written to you, I’m happy to hear I’m not the only person who turned out great. (smile) ~ Lenore

    • Good scanner = Very cool photos. Then again, the chicks are pretty cute, too. Ah youth. Go ahead, dig around for some school photos. Dooooo it. (and thanks for visiting!) ~ Lenore

    • Thanks, M2M. Glad you liked my post. I appreciate you stopping by here. I’m glad i can look back at that girl and know she turned out A-OK. (Even better that the friend is still in my life.) ~ Lenore

  1. This is beautiful Lenore. What an angelic picture of you in fourth grade (?)
    Love the concept of letter to myself.
    Now what about this mystery ending? Spill, spill…Lyons apts. and and…

    Talk about a cliff hanger.

    • Thank you, GMom. Yes, the picture is from 4th grade. Angelic? Moi? OK. 🙂
      I look forward to reading your letter to yourself. (Hint, hint.)
      Now, about the mystery. Hmm… well, the thing – it isn’t a pleasant story.
      And, it is the one thing in life I wish I did have a directive given to me in advance.
      I didn’t want to go at the time – I shouldn’t have gone. Hmm… I may write about it at some point.
      The plot thickens….. Hugs to you GMom! ~ Lenore

    • Yeah – I was a blondie just like my boys. Hey – they are cute, too!
      Were you glad the crush ended because of the strain it was putting on your eyes and neck? (smile)
      Thanks for visiting, Leanne. It was fun seeing so many old school pictures. ~ Lenore

  2. I love this, Lenore! My best friend and I have been friends since Grade 4 too…42 years! Forever friends is absolutely true in our case!

    I was a wallflower too…I think we’re better writers because of that…we observed what was going on, and made note of it!

    Wendy

    • Hey Wendy,
      That’s neat that you met your best friend in 4th grade, too. I love the fact that my friend and I have so much history. We know why we are – what we are – or at least, we think we do. (smile) We know the back story of each other, if that makes any sense.
      I don’t know that I’ve ever stopped to think about it, but having read what you wrote … ‘we observed what was going on, and made note of it’… that makes sense! I like it! ~ Lenore

  3. Lenore – What a fantastic twist on the School Photo Day concept. Your letter is touching and funny. I can soooo relate to your commandment to be thankful about the new school. My parents dragged me from Pennsylvania to Oregon after my freshman year. I thought it was the end of my life. Little did I know it was best thing for me. I decided to reinvent myself completely and would never have had the opportunity, but for that change.

    Thanks for joining us on School Photo Day! http://keeniebeanie.blogspot.com/2011/06/school-photo-day-oh-horror.html

    • It was a pleasure to join you guys, Keenie Beanie. I loved the idea.
      That is a big move – PA to OR. I must say, your move was far more significant than mine. I am glad yours had a happy ending, too.
      Thanks again for putting together School Picture Day. And, thanks for stopping by and saying hello. Hope to see you again.
      ~ Lenore

  4. Angel

    Made me smile. Good friends are so hard to find. Cherish your bestest friend. I too hadn’t heard of school picture day, and yes, keep writing.

    • Thanks for visiting, Angel. I am glad the post made you smile. Your posts always leave me smiling. (I hope the chickens made it through the night, with the Villain lurking in their midst.) I’ll keep writing, and I’ll keep reading your blog. So, I hope you’ll keep writing, too! ~ Lenore

  5. Priya

    Lenore, you are a great woman.

    PS: You were a great-looking kid, too.
    PPS: My favourite bit “You and your hot husband make two great looking boys.”
    PPPS: You’ve inspired a post for my blog. (Does it matter that it’ll be published much later than 1st June?)

    • Thank you, Priya. You are a kind woman. As horrible as it may sound, I married up in life. I mean, yeah OK – I may have been a cute kid. But, my low maintenance lifestyle as an adult makes for well – less than desired looks. That said, the fact that I could snag such a handsome man…. Yep, I believe I married up (in the looks department). Good thing, too. If I had married below or equal to my looks, the kids would not be nearly as good looking. (smile)

      I’m happy to hear I inspired you. I look forward to reading the pending post.

      Thanks again, Priya.
      ~ Lenore

  6. This post was just an absolute treat to read! Love those adorable pictures! Love your blonde hair. My bestest friend and I were two peas in a pod for years, starting at age five. We both were riding our Big Wheels in front of our houses and she asked if I liked Barbies and a friendship was born. Now she’s in San Diego. God, I miss those days.

    • Do you keep in touch with her, Darla? San Diego is a great place to visit! Come to think of it, Maine is a great place to visit. You guys did well, relocating to places that are great to visit! (smile) It’s funny how folks are noticing my blonde hair. I was blonde most of my life (naturally), and then I got pregnant. I swear, the birth of my first son sucked the blonde out of me. I am now brown haired, and I still get startled when I see myself in pictures. So different. And the boys? As blonde as their Mom was at their age. Funny.

      Thanks for reading, Darla. I like having you visit!
      ~ Lenore

  7. jacquelincangro

    So sweet. It would be so nice if we could really deliver these messages to our younger selves and give them the benefit of our experience.
    Love the photos!

    • I agree 100%, Jacqueline. If we could reach our younger selves just to say (as the anti-bully campaign states), “It gets better.” Perhaps letters to our younger selves, shared with the current young ones would suffice? Who knows. Thanks for visiting. I love seeing your Gravatar image. Cutest puppy dog!! ~ Lenore

    • So happy to hear someone else finds math overrated. I avoid it like the plague. I’m not proud of my aversion to math, I merely accept it as fact. It is also a fact that I’ve had to purchase phones several times, due to their inability to survive being thrown. Fortunately, the throwing is lessening as I age. The slamming of doors? Um. Still working on that. 🙂
      ~ Lenore

  8. I’m wandering around the day after School Picture Day looking for any posts I may have missed. I’m very glad I checked. This was a wonderful piece and some great pictures!

    Here’s mine from yesterday where I also wrote about a lifelong friend:
    http://asalinguist.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/a-portrait-of-the-linguist-as-a-young-dorky-girl/

    Oh, and I have to say, your name is quite lovely, but it unfortunately produces a knee-jerk ever-so-slight eye tic when I read it. You see, my name is Leonore and it’s been mispronounced as “Lenore” (amongst others) for my entire life. But overall, it’s a superior name 🙂

    • Leonore is the name of one of my bosses (from many years ago). She pronounced it “Lenore”. Though I never said it to her face, I wondered why she would mispronounce her name.
      Just as your name is pronounced every way but Le’o’nore, I’ve had my share of wrong interpretations: “Hello, Linda Orr.” “Hi, Lorraine.” “Nice to meet you, Lenora.” and the worst….”Hi Lorna.”
      (Lorna makes me shudder. So wrong. So very wrong.)

      Thank you for wandering today. I am glad you stopped by and said hello. Hopefully, I’ll see you around another time.

      Thanks again,
      ~ Lenore

  9. Great pics. I especially like the explanation of your friends during those time periods. I would like to go back and sketch an outline of best friends during my growing up. Some were best friends for years and years and others only for one school year because we sat right next to each other and drifted the following year when we ended up in different rooms.

    • Thanks, Paul. Losing a friend to another classroom always hurt. The hurt was greater when the friend moved to the better classroom with the newer desks. That’s just rude. ~ Lenore

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