Dear little me,

I know you don't believe people when they tell you to enjoy your childhood because it goes by in a moment's notice, but you should. Mom and dad weren't kidding when they said your childhood is the best time of your life. It's complicated to picture yourself ten years from now, in college, looking like an adult, but you will reach that point in a blink of an eye.

You can't predict the future, but let me give you a glimpse of how life will be ten years from now. In ten years, you will have experienced more life changing situations than you realize. Instead of having tea parties with your stuffed animals, you will now be drinking a beverage much stronger than imaginary tea with reckless teenagers you barely know. The friends you keep might make decisions you don't approve of, but because of peer pressure, you make the wrong decisions too. Instead of playing house with your dolls, people you sat next to in class are accidentally having children they can't afford.

When you stay up past your bedtime, it isn't because mommy and daddy are letting you finish the movie you started, it's because you have a 15-page paper due at 8 a.m. the next day. Boys no longer have cooties...instead you want to spend all your time with them. Having ice cream for dinner is no longer an option because the sugar will go straight to your hips. When you cry, it isn't because you scraped your knee riding your scooter, it's because life is complicated and you just want to take a nap. Ten years from now, you will be wondering how your childhood went by so damn fast.

Now that you've looked into the future, can you see why you should preserve your innocence for as long as possible?

Right now, it doesn't matter what your hair looks like or what brand your jeans are. Enjoy this. Innocence is pure bliss. It is ok to still believe in Peter Pan and to sprinkle glitter on your head, hoping it will make you fly. Write down poems and songs in your diary; you will love looking back on what was running through your eight year old mind. When people laugh at you because you are smaller than them, don't cry. Laugh with them because one day you will do great things and will get the last laugh.

When you play house with your dolls, don't take it so seriously. One day, playing house will also be known as reality. Don't ever wish that you can be an adult. When mom tells you not to wear makeup, listen to her. You have your whole adulthood to cake that stuff on. When you get to high school and people start pressuring you to grow up faster than you want to, stay strong. You don't need anyone's approval in life but your own.

Not having to worry about anything serious other than what color chalk you want to color the driveway with is taken for granted. One day, you will have to make big decisions like where to go to college, what type of job you want, and what type of loan to take out. About one tenth of our lives are spent innocent, then the rest are spent what we call "adulting."

I miss the days when I could wear princess dresses to school. I miss having picnics on the kitchen floor whenever we were given a snow day. I miss being sung lullabies when I can't fall asleep. I miss being able to play with my Barbies anywhere I pleased. I miss riding my baby blue bike all over my neighborhood. I miss the simplicity of being a kid...and you'll know how I'll feel ten years from now.

People told us to enjoy our innocent years, so stop trying to grow up so fast.

Sincerely,

Me