To my dear ten-year-old Vadrine,
Hi there, it’s me. Yup, I can’t quite believe it either. It feels like only yesterday we were playing pretend in the veranda at home, imagining what our future self would be. We would sit and stare out into the distance, clutching our baby doll protectively in our innocent little hands and think. For 10 years we’d been on this earth and we couldn’t even begin to imagine what we would go through in the next 10 to come. ‘What will 20-year-old Vadrine be like?’ Will she be beautiful? Will she have met a boy? Will she have passed her school years with flying colours? Will she have made her parents proud? Will she have many friends? Will she be independent and strong and smart and our list went on and on and on…
It’s almost surreal for me to be able to look back now and realise that all this time has passed. It’s not easy to explain the feeling of wonder and mystification that a little girl has about being a ‘big girl’ one day. Some people live in the moment and never think about the future, but we always did, didn’t we? We always hoped that somehow, we would turn into this perfect girl that had had the perfect set of teenage years. Well, little one, let me tell you this. As much as we wished for it and as much as our beloved Disney movies made us believe, there’s no such thing as perfect. No, don’t cry sweet thing, because you know what, I can now assure you that that’s perfectly okay.
Your teenage years will be some of the most formidable years of your life, there’ll be moments of incredible joy and moments of horrific pain. You will lose loved ones that at this point you have no idea you’re going to have. You will meet people who will change your life for the better but who will be taken from you for reasons beyond your control. You’ll cry painful tears over things that happen for reasons that maybe we’ll never understand.
You’ll learn the meaning of love, but no, not in the way you think, not just yet, that one will take you some time. This love that I’m referring to, comes with loving the people who will always have your back and who love you unconditionally in return. It comes with loving a child, no don’t worry not ours, but our sisters’. Yeah I know right? And guess what, eventually there’ll be three of them, three new little beings that come into the world to change our family and for us to love. Your dolls will be replaced by real babies and your heart will be so full knowing that there are three more individuals in the world that you get to love and see grow for the rest of your life.
Then, you’ll fall in love. Yes, that sweet teenage love that we always asked ourself when it would come along. He’ll be good to you and you’ll be happy and yes, your beautiful little heart will break when it’s over but you will be happy again even though in the moment you’ll feel like your world is falling apart. You’ll lean on your mother like never before and the two of you will develop a relationship stronger than you realised you could have. You’ll experience various relationship dynamics, some that teach you what you don’t want, some that teach you to value yourself more and some that leave you always wondering what might have been if things had been different.
You’ll make many friends my love, but you’ll eventually learn the value of quality over quantity. It’ll take you a few heartbreaks and mistakes but you’ll figure it out. One thing I promise you, is that no matter how many times you’ll get hurt, you’ll always have your family to lean on, you’ll get back on your feet, forgive, and move on. I know you can’t even imagine that someone out there will someday prey on your gentle heart and I know that you’re scared that growing up will change you, but I can promise you, that even though there are very big differences between you and I, our hearts are still the same. Eventually, you will make a small group of special friends who finally appreciate you for who you are without asking for anything in return. They will love you regardless of your mistakes and your flaws and with them, you’ll make some of the best memories of your young life.
During these next ten years you’ll also make some of the most amazing memories with your amazing little family. Your relationship with your doting parents will grow as the years go by and you’ll get to travel to some of the worlds’ most beautiful places, making memories that will last forever. Your closeness with your little sister will result in a beautiful relationship. So, I know you argue with her and she takes your toys, but you love her and one day very soon she’ll be one of your best friends.
So go on sweet child, sit back down and play with your dolls, you have nothing to fret, it’ll be alright. One day we’ll sit together and listen to the stories that Vadz in another 10 or 20 years, whoever she may be, has to tell us. She has lots of things to experience and lots of memories to make till then. And I can only hope that they’ll be nothing but wonderful.
Twenty year old Vadz.