Dear Me (August 4, 1995):
So you made it! Tomorrow’s the Big Day. Can you believe it? You were so afraid you were going to wind up an old maid. And here you are, barely 23 years old, getting ready to tie the knot. Even though you weren’t a member of the Boyfriend of the Month Club like some of your girlfriends, God didn’t forget about you. I know it was lonely at times, but this man was worth waiting for.
I know, I know. You never imagined your naive little Southern Baptist self marrying a Presbyterian and moving to Yankee territory. God does have a sense of humor, doesn’t He? But as your daddy once said, I suppose there are worse things that Presbyterians. And you’ll love Philadelphia.
So anyway. A few bits of advice. First, when you get up in the morning, avoid the scale at all costs. What’s done is done, and your fragile emotional state will not be able to handle the number you’ll see if you step on that scale. It will reduce you to a heap of sobbing mess, and you’ll deserve every bloodshot vein in your eyes for being so vain as to get on the scale the morning of your wedding day.
You’ve spent 11 months planning out every detail, and it’s finally time to put the plan into action. I’ll go ahead and tell you, it’s all going to go off without a hitch, so you can rest easy. But listen, try to savor each moment because it’s going to be a blur, I tell you, a BLUR.
Before you know it, you’ll be riding off into the sunset in a rented white Ford Mustang with Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome! And what a life awaits you! It will be everything you ever imagined and more.
So guess what? All those Friday and Saturday nights you spent babysitting for $5 an hour? All that experience is gonna come in real handy because you will have three children with this man you are marrying tomorrow.
Now don’t hyperventilate. You’ll have plenty of time to get used to being an adult first. Enjoy those in-between years. You’ll never be as free again. Take the opportunity to travel and read and cultivate a great relationship with your new hubby.
Oh, and one more thing. You’ll never weigh 120 again, so let it go. Don’t waste a day wearing baggy sweatpants. Wear those tight jeans, and wear them with pride. They’ll never fit the same after you bear children.
But don’t worry. Motherhood is worth every battle scar. It will blow your mind how instantly and how completely you will love that little 7-pound bundle when they put him in your arms for the first time. And your love will multiply exponentially with the addition of each little one to your home. You will have enough love to go around, I promise.
And you’ll never believe the way having children of your own will change the way you view the world. A mother’s love defies logic. It is ecstasy and agony all rolled up together. It will be the source of your greatest joy and your greatest heartbreak. You will forevermore view everything in life through the lens of motherhood, and even though it’s your favorite movie, you’ll never be able to watch Steel Magnolias again.
So here you are, on the brink of an exciting new adventure. Just hold your nose and jump in. It won’t always be easy. There will be rough patches. You will make mistakes. Oh my, will you ever! But you’ll make it through, and you’ll be stronger for it.
Just take one day at a time. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t dwell on them. Take time to enjoy the simple pleasures life has to offer, be kind to your husband, and make lots of friends. Trust your maternal instincts, and always turn to God in times of trial, but don’t forget to thank Him when blessings are abundant.