Forever Family: notes for my 20-something self

Lately I’ve been thinking about my younger days.


See that sweet face?  (Yeah, BrightSide, too.)  How innocent, how naive…ready to go along to get along, keep the peace, calm the waters no matter what.

Well, lately I’ve been thinking about what I’d tell that 20-something me.

Dear 20-something me,

Look at how grown you are.  You graduated college, survived your first year of teaching, and started your life with BrightSide.  Independence, freedom, exciting possibilities – being an adult is looking pretty good right about now.

But.  (There’s always a but.)  You have challenges coming your way that will sweep you off your feet.  BrightSide is as steadfast as you think he is; the two of you will make it through to the other side, and you’ll be all the stronger for it.  Enjoy yourselves.  Spend less time marking things off your checklist and more time driving back roads and catching good movies. Stop worrying so much about what makes others happy and learn what pleases you. 

The struggle to start a family will make you doubt everything you think is true.  You’ll be convinced you’re being punished for past mistakes, that other women are graced with this gift and you must not be worthy of motherhood.  Fight the demons telling you you’re not good enough; you are.  It’s hard for a control freak to understand, but this is something you cannot possibly schedule.  You can no more will that pregnancy test to turn positive than you can shift the stars, so it’s a painful waste of energy to thump your chest and shout at the heavens.

Let it go.

In time you and BrightSide will become parents.  Beautiful babies will grace your home with love and laughter, and they will be beloved by your families.  They’ll grow into incredible human beings, ones who open your eyes and hearts.  At times you’ll feel inept, daunted by the task of raising children straddling two worlds, but you will do better than you ever give yourself credit for.

You are mid-stride as I write this letter.  With each step you grow stronger and wiser.  Know in your heart that this is your path, and trust it will carry you home.


your 40-something self

15 thoughts on “Forever Family: notes for my 20-something self

  1. Aw! You guys are so cute! Wouldn’t it have been great to read that letter from yourself, to yourself when you were in your 20’s? I know it would’ve relieved a lot of anxiety if it were me.
    From the happy faces of your kids, I’d say you’re doing it right. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny how when you are young, you never think that “getting” pregnant will be a problem, it’s usually the opposite! I was a child of the 60’s and 70’s and bought into the feminist thinking that if a man can have one-night stands, so can a woman. Um…I seem to have forgotten that it’s the woman that loses when the contraception fails. Or when you aren’t taking it as you should….at 26 I found myself pregnant for the fourth time in 10 years and thank the Lord, against all odds, I decided to have this baby (I had had two miscarriages and had “terminated” one pregnancy….oh to be able to go back and change this history….). Even though I was a walking baby machine, when I finally did get married at age 29, my husband and I were never able to conceive our own child. What a shocker that was. And because I had never had a problem before, hubs went in and got checked and he was fine but I kept thinking it would happen because….duh…it always did before. Then one day, I woke up and I was in perimenopause and thought FOR SURE it would happen now cause my hormones were all askew and didn’t many unsuspecting women have “late in life” babies? Nope….not me. And a few months ago, all my lady parts were taken out and so there went my “Sarah and Abraham” fantasy.
    So my reasoning in writing this is to encourage any young women out there to treasure your fertility because you never know when it will stop, no matter how easy it was to get pregnant before.
    (I guess this was way more than my two cents worth….more like a buck and a half!!!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Robyn! This is SO true. I spent years praying I wouldn’t get pregnant — oh, the irony — and then years bemoaning the fact that I didn’t. It’s easy to think we’re in control of our circumstances, but there are so many things beyond our control. You make a great point in that nothing should be taken for granted…

      Liked by 1 person

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