Dear Little Girl in the Photograph

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One day you won’t have to climb to reach the cookie jar (you’ll make sure of this).

One ordinary afternoon you will meet something called maple cream. It will be better than the middle of a double stuffed Oreo, and your life will never be the same. Trust me on this.

One day you will realize that nobody is going to give you gold stars anymore. You should invest in a star-shaped cookie cutter immediately, and use it as often as you see fit.

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One day you will understand that there are some people you’ll never see again. At least, not in the same way.

One day you will lose someone you love. It might feel as if someone picked you up to play with you, only to get bored and take you apart. You might feel as if you were put back together the wrong way, and you might sit in the middle of the room feeling as if you’re missing an arm for an awfully long time. This is not a fun game.

One day you will learn that you do, in fact, like fish and mushrooms and broccolini. But you might never ever like olives.

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One day you will be too old to wear a t-shirt underneath your dress, and you will discover that some boys will think you’re pretty and some boys won’t. Be choosy, but give the ones who think you’re something else a real chance. They should all think that you’re as cute as a button, even when you wake up and your hair looks like it did when you were four and going through your WHO NEEDS BATHS phase.

One day you will meet a boy who (accidentally or incidentally) makes you feel less. This is not the boy to cream butter and sugar for.

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One day, when you’ve semi-recovered, you will meet another boy. He may not be right either. You are nobody’s project. You may whack this boy with your Brussels sprout bat.

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One day you will realize that your best friend is your mom, and that you’re just about the luckiest little girl around. 

One day you will discover that the very best thing about family is that you can always pick up right where you left off.

One day you will spend an astronomical amount of time worrying about the shape and size and length of your legs. Please remember that those legs will run marathons. They will squat and deadlift every Monday morning, and when you’re 22, they will carry you all the way to New York City. For the record: those legs prefer ballet flats.

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One day you will find that you like certain things very much: rainbows in oil puddles, clothes on a line, chocolates wrapped in gold foil.

One day (probably in college) you will feel like you no longer love the library. Don’t worry — this is not a feeling that will last.

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One day you will go about figuring out what happens after what was supposed to be.

And one day you will make the decision to write in your own handwriting, and it will become much easier to speak.

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