This is a throwback blog post as I attempt to write to myself when I was 6. No time machine or app or streaming service to make it easier. If you get lost in 1980, enjoy the Miracle on Ice. So to summarize, 2016 Michael is writing to 1980 Michael. Hope this doesn’t hurt your brain. Also, selfies did not exist.
Hello, it’s me.
Hello, can you hear me?
I’m in Corunna dreaming about who we used to be
When we were younger and free
I’ve forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet
Hey, you are 6, you have no idea what that quote was. Most likely you can’t even read it. But if you are like my current 6-year old, you are giving a good try. Yes, I have a 6-year old. Hard to believe right? The scary thing is, he is a mini-me (us). He is taller than average, silly and already understands sarcasm a bit. He is shy on the outside, but chatty once you get to know him. You don’t know this yes, but that is you (me). Wow confusing. I would drop a Lost reference, but you won’t get it.
Let’s move past this past, present and future thing. I could provide so many spoiler alerts for you to write down, you could rule the world. But would that be fair to you (and the world)? I will tell you that it all worked out. Feel free to tuck that nugget of info away so you can reduce worry and stress over what the future holds. You are happy. You have special people around you and you HAVE YOUR OWN TV. I shit you not. Sorry for saying shit.
I am writing back in time to you to let you in on a few things I have learned being the parent of a 6-year old. I find myself appreciating my parents more as time goes on. The amount of work that they did to get me where I am. I always thought I was an easy kid to raise, but even the easy ones are a lot of work, stress and sleepless nights.
Here is a quick list of things I want you to really focus on because it could really change your life for the better.
- Seriously, eat more veggies. Present day me is not big on trying new things, so if you do it for me, everyone wins.
- Now I know computers were only for military back then, but start thinking about how technology can change the world.
- Be nice to the babysitters. Good ones are hard to find.
- Don’t hurt your sister.
- Learn to swim. I wish I did.
- Learn to skate so I could show my 6-year old how to.
- The word “appreciate” is lost on young kids, but I want you to really appreciate a family that stays together. It’s not the norm anymore here in the future. Enjoy it.
- Keep your room clean. That is just my hope that it somehow passes down via genes.
My 6-year old has a little brother. Yes, you had a little sister. It’s the same thing with less wrestling. I have now seen the special bond of siblings as a parent. To me it’s something you can only have with a brother or sister. It’s magical to watch. It makes me feel good to know our boys will always have each other. You will go through tough times and there will be love and hate, but in the end it will go back to being close.
Just like now, practice your reading and writing every chance you get. It is the key to your future. I remember not liking reading much until I was older. Maybe if you get more into books early, that would change. Mum is a librarian, it’s okay to get more than the old Sports Illustrated magazines.
Try to take better care of your hockey cards. Yes it sounds silly, but if you can put then in plastic, your future self will love you.
Go out and play every chance you get. Life gets complicated even for a kid.
Take an interest in cooking. You don’t have to do much, just watch what Mum does. Then you can start to help out. I like cooking a lot now, but I am sure there are a few tricks I could have learned.
Because I am you, I can imagine and feel what you were like as a 6-year old. I can paint the picture in my head. I can visualize it almost to the point of being real.
But now, with my 6-year old, I can see it happening for real in front of me. It’s everything he got from me, his Mom and whatever other family qualities joined the party.
As a parent, you always want better for your kids than you had. I am writing into the past to let you know you had it pretty good and you have it even better now.
So keep it up. Behave. Remember where you put your hat and mitts and stop wiping your face with your sleeve.
Grilled cheese will be your Jesus and Baird Street will be your church.
Being 6 to me seems like one of the best ages to be. You basically can live like a teenage without any of the consequences. You are no longer treated like a crazy toddler. You are a boy ready to take it all on.
Oh one final note. Don’t wait until you are older to ride a bike. It’s an amazing feeling. Stop what you are doing and go out and practice. The freedom is liberating.
That’s it. 6-year old me, you rock. You were a big part in becoming who I am today and how I parent towards my 6-year old.
One last thing, on weekends, sleep in! Cartoons are the devil. Oh who am I kidding. 1980 Saturday morning cartoons were the best ever.
Good luck, we will talk again soon.