Dear 10-years-ago me,

I’m not sure you’d know who I am if you saw me in the store today. 

Although we’d probably not be shopping on the same aisles anymore, I’m sure you’d see me. At least you’d hear me coming. I mom so hard with four kids in constant tow. 

While you’re casually browsing the size 4 dresses, sporting your new shiny diamond, I’ll be checking out the facial moisturizers and reviews on Amazon for undereye concealer. It’s really been since kid#3 that I depend on that last one to resemble a human. 

If you saw me you’d probably judge me for something. Whether it be the number of kids, the sheer volume they’re emitting, or how my hair appears to not have been washed in (let’s not count how many) days. Spoiler alert: it hasn’t.

Dear 10-years-ago me, 

The plan you have in your head for how your life is going to unfold is admirable. It’s a great plan, really. Maybe the Peace Corps. Two kids, max. Special Education teacher. A few mission trips here and there. Completely go-with-the-flow, don’t stand out kind of life. 

I see you looking at me with a look of wonder. How could things not turn out this way? You’re not asking for much. It seems pretty simple. 

But then life happens. You’re gonna graduate college. Get married. Learn about so many things that up until now, you’ve been sheltered from. 

Friends will have miscarriages. Infertility issues. Failed adoptions. Loss of houses during an unfortunate recession. There’s a lot of growing up that happens in the next few years. 

As you’re learning that plans are good, but remaining flexible is key, a battle is coming. A faith-tester, a prayer-maker, a life-changing, plan-wrecker is coming. 

A journey your heart has been preparing for ever since you thought that boy majoring in special ed was cute and decided to switch majors. Funny how decisions are guided that way. 

Life will not look like the picture you have in your head. There will be more kids, more heartache, more beauty, more love, more of everything you’ve only had a taste of up until now. 

I’m not offering advice, I’m merely reminding you that you’re strong enough for these battles. You’re worthy enough of this beauty. You are graceful enough to see the world and understand that we are all doing the best we can with the hand we are dealt. You’re capable of judging less and shining a brighter light more. 

Coffee is your friend. Kids are hard. Your husband is learning to re-evaluate this life path, too. Treat him kindly. 

It’s a beautifully, bumpy ride. Hold on and enjoy it. 

Originally published on the author’s Facebook 

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Casie Tyson

Casie Tyson is a hobby baker + mom to 4 chaos makers. She lives out life as a special needs parent and advocate while wearing research goggles for all things Spina Bifida.