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Things I Wish I’d Known in First Grade

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Dear Chelsea,

You tell your mom all the time how much you want to be a grown up, and I am going to tell you now: STOP SAYING THAT, OR I WILL PUNCH YOU IN THE HEAD. YOU DON’T MEAN IT. Being a grown up sucks. As the adult version of you, I want to offer you words of advice as to how good it is to be six years old, and how being a grown-up is bad.

First and foremost: glue eating. I’d tell you to stop that, but you’re going to put way worse things in your body by the time you’re 21, so really, glue is the least of your worries. Enjoy the Elmer’s and enjoy it with gusto. Anyone who looks at you weird, well, they’re just jealous.

Recess is a gift from God. Being cooped up in an office watching children run and play is directly correlated with Satan. Actually, you will be employed by Satan. Run around. Run a lot. Don’t go on the teeter-totter in a skirt. Don’t try to ride the tire swing with no hands. But other than that, have at it. Recess is a rare commodity, and by the time you’re my age, “recess” will consist of naptime.

That reminds me. Naptime. You hate it now. You fidget on the cot, talk to the kids lying next to you, and sit in anxious anticipation until naptime is over. But naptime — again. From God. (And by the way, this is the only time in your life you will be able to lay down less than a foot from a boy and not have him try to get in your pants. Enjoy it while it lasts.) Sleep, little one, because at 21, sleep is a rare commodity. Four hours is not a long time, though it seems like it now. But get excited: that’s all the sleep you’re going to get as an adult.[ADBLOCKHERE]

Color. Do it often. Don’t listen to mom and dad when they say art school is absolutely out of the question. (Also note: in 11 years, fight for art school. It’s going to be way more fun than a communications degree.)

Don’t go under the merry-go-round with TJ Rogers. Mom will never let you forget it.

Don’t let your only friends on the playground be the LD class. Again — mom will never let you forget it.

You whine and complain about writing sentences 50 times as punishment. Writing 20-page thesis papers, really not much better. It’s all downhill from here.

Enjoy those magic carpet squares. Actually, try to steal them if you can. Because when you grow up you’re going to learn that carpet if freaking expensive.

Snack time is marvelous. Continue to enjoy this. Because there is never a point in time when Ritz crackers with peanut butter is a BAD thing. NEVER. This is the only time in life when snack time does not consist of pop-tarts from a vending machine.

$100 seems like a fortune to you right now. Try spending $260 on a speeding ticket. Yeah. You don’t want to be a grown-up.

Your body is going to get bigger. You’ll eventually get boobs. Remember what color your hair is right now because 15 years from now you won’t be able to remember your natural hair color. But the bottom line is to not grow old. Get big. Grow up but don’t grow old. And if people think you’re weird for running around, jumping and yelling, and coloring random office memos, tell them … well, we’ll tell you what to tell them when you’re about 13.

Chelsea, 2006.

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About Chelsea Smith

  • I love these “letters” to your childhood self, Chelsea. Another homerun!

  • Humorous piece. So much truth…unfortunately. LOL

  • g

    stop coloring inside the lines….
    don’t worry they don’t slap your knuckles anymore…..color everywhere and with whatever color you want…there are soooooo many colors to choose from. COLOR when you are grown big too.:)