Letter of Apology to My Childhood Self

18 Sep

Dear Child Version of Me,

How are you? You’re probably doing great, what with the recess and all. The biggest thing you probably have to worry about is whether or not you’re going to make it to the bathroom before you have an accident. We still kind of worry about that, actually. I’m writing you this letter to say “I’m sorry.” I kind of let you down in a couple of ways, and I feel I owe you an apology.

I’m currently 5’10”. This is painfully shy of our childhood goal of 6’6″. Sorry.

Football? No. Baseball? No. Basketball? Hell no. Yea, we still suck at sports. Nothing’s changed. Sorry I couldn’t fix that for us.

This isn't you.

This isn't you.

People are probably just now starting to tell you how smart you are. Neat, huh? After initially bucking at the idea because you thought it was going to be similar to the “special” class, you’ve allowed yourself to be enrolled in the “gifted and talented” class, doing your own special science and art projects. Class work is pretty easy for you. You have incredible potential. You’re thinking you could be valedictorian one day, maybe go to college and be a great scientist.

Last semester I wrote a paper that was described by my professor as a “philosophical and mechanical mess.” I suppose I should have tried harder. But hey, as we look down at our mediocre, half-assed C+’s and our B-‘s, we can still think back to how much “potential” we had, convincing ourselves that the sheer existence of this potential somehow makes it all right for us to never, ever, utilize it.

This either.

This isn't you, either.

Around the age of fourteen or fifteen you toy with the idea of dressing well. Most of your fashions will be taken from episodes of Boy Meets World that are themselves already five years old and slightly out of date. You’ll try hard, the open-flannel shirt getting you to the fashion playoffs, but as you go to kick the girl-winning extra point, your ill-fitting cargo pants will fumble the snap and you’ll find yourself tackled on the one yard line, a crumbled mass of Sketchers, plaid, and superfluous hip pockets.

You spend your youth never quite understanding the rules of fashion. Your dependence on white shirts will become one of your friends’ most beloved “Kyle” bits. I’m sorry I never let you wear a god damn polo.

This isn't you on so many levels it makes me wonder why I even chose this photograph.

This isn't you on so many levels.

Another thing: We can be fairly charming. You’ve grown into a fickle bastard, though. For this reason, a lot of girls hate you now. Sorry. Maybe learn to treat women as lovely glasses of wine. Sip, savor, enjoy. Don’t drink too fast, because everybody knows wine hangovers are the worst.

This is you. This is how you spend the best years of your life.

This is you. This is how you spend the best years of your life.

Finally, my biggest apology: Remember how we wanted to be an astronaut so bad? It was a beautiful dream. Do you also remember how in that one kindergarten presentation of “What we want to do when we grow up,” in order to save money and effort on an astronaut costume, you just dressed up as a construction worker? Yeah, sorry about how not far-fetched that career path is for us now. I got us a degree in English. My bad. Yea, I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. Not a whole lot of English majors get to be astronauts. That’s why Hemingway never wrote about space–he wrote about fishing, driving ambulances, and drinking a lot.We’re not going to space. (Note to self: Create a draft of The Space Gatsby. Also consider The Sun Also Rises…on the Moon.)

I’m sorry, me. I’m sorry that I don’t roller blade everywhere or have a pet zebra named “Rocket Ship.” I don’t know why you wanted those things, but you did, and I couldn’t deliver.

We didn’t become the man we had hoped to be (Spider Man), but I think we end up doing all right. We have good friends, good family, and good health. So even though we probably won’t be going to space, scoring touchdowns, or sporting the latest fashions in Milan, we still end up leading a pretty great life. Take care of yourself, Kyle of the past.

Oh, and thank you for ignoring the practically innumerable violations of the laws of physics and the space/time continuum.

Love,

You.

Never stop dreaming. There will always be room for dreamers--in space.

Never stop dreaming.

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6 Responses to “Letter of Apology to My Childhood Self”

  1. Steve McGaw September 18, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    Bravo!

  2. angela September 18, 2009 at 3:35 pm #

    I dig this! 🙂

  3. Paula Irion September 18, 2009 at 5:17 pm #

    WOW! What a great writer you are:) I am so impressed with that story I want to put it on my fb to show everyone….

  4. Kyle Irion September 18, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    Thanks, gang. Present time Kyle really appreciates it.

  5. Lanny September 19, 2009 at 2:09 pm #

    The question is, how will future woman kyle like this? You know, after the sex change.

    Awesome entry, best so far in my book.

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  1. My Favorite Posts of 2009 « Eat This, Internet. - December 31, 2009

    […] Letter of Apology to My Childhood Self- This post kind of gave me a Homeward Bound lump in my throat when I was finished with […]

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