I am writing these notes to my former self in no particular order. As I was growing up I always longed for someone to give me advice and reassurance that things would turn out okay.
Dear Mary Ellen,
Three years old and aren't you a charmer. You are already a big sister to only one brother so far. But I suspect your second brother is on the way already. You have big smile for the camera and you know that you are loved. You are already Daddy's girl just as your brother is Mom's boy. Oh, if I could just tell you how to keep that confidence. You are secure in your world and that is a feeling that you will need to find again at other times in your life. Remember this time when you were the big sister and the world was your oyster.
And drop that pesky Ellen and don't pick all your your mom's lily of the valley while the ladies from her church were meeting in the livingroom. Those flowers have a lovely smell, but when you pull them up roots and all they don't grow back. Remember that about plants. Only pick the flowers (unless you want to kill them). The story of the lily of the valley will follow you for the rest of your life. As will the story of taking the goldfish for a walk in your baby buggy. The goldfish didn't live either. Oh, the adventures you had at three. Keep that adventurous spirit. But stop letting Mom cut your hair. The bangs are way too short! Just the first in a lifetime of very bad haircuts.
Your future self