I woke this morning, smiled and cheered “hello” to my teenage daughter, grabbed my cup of joe and my new smartphone and sat down to hear one of my new favorite sounds, a whistle. (my choice of notification notice). I open up my new found twitter account to see some tweets about Judy Blume and all of a sudden I am flooded with childhood memories. Sitting on my butterfly quilt reading “Otherwise known as Sheila the Great” realizing that I too was normal. Reading “Starring Sally J. Freedman as herself” and imaging I was Sally and wondering what it must be like to be her. Sitting in the living room of the house we were about to move from reading “Are you there God? It’s me Margaret” realizing I wasn’t alone and turning 13 was gonna be okay. Being 16 and working on my tan in the backyard reading “Forever” and all the while I was reading it couldn’t believe it was my mother who gave it to me.
As all these memories flooded my mind I came to realize I need to thank Judy Blume. Her books were my friends, they were there no matter what, I could go back to them whenever I needed them, without judgement. You see, she helped me feel normal as I was growing up. I came to realize that I was like some of her character’s and people thought her character’s were pretty and funny and intelligent so that means I must be also. Among others who will be mentioned when the need arises, Judy Blume helped this woman feel pretty and normal as she was growing up. (I know…quite the “lightbulb” moment while on my first cup of coffee at 6 a.m.).
I am telling this tale today in hopes that it will rekindle the love of yourself (and of reading) and everything that is beautiful about yourself. We all have the younger version of ourselves tucked away and stored in a closet or drawer (I don’t know how you decorate your house of memories…mine is an old Victorian cottage) and it is time to bring them out into the sun. It is time to remember who we were in our youth – that is who we really are – you know – before the world got at us and tried to tell us who we were and what we should be.
Today, have fun. Laugh. Be who you want to be. I’ll be busy re introducing myself to me and getting my daughter my stash of Judy Blume books.