A letter to my younger self – Aged 5

Hello darling,

How are you today?

You know, I always remember you as being such a happy little chappie.

Shall I tell you what I remember about when you were at your most happiest? Shall I?

You know Tony, next door? Yes. Tony who used to be tailor before the war, but then lost his leg at Dunkirk and once the war had ended and he came home he couldn’t work again.

And you know he has a niece who is about your age and he makes those lovely dresses for her.

Well, I know a little secret. I know how much you love it when you’re playing in the garden and Tony calls out to you from his workroom window and asks if you could model another dress that he’s making. You always go running in to Mummy to ask if you can go round next door, and Mummy always says yes, doesn’t she?

So round you go and you knock on the kitchen door. Tony’s Mum lets you in and up the stairs you run, all excited. Your eyes always light up when you see the latest dress. They’re lovely and frilly. All soft and flowing and with those lovely lacy trims at the shoulder and the neck. You like the flowery ones the best, don’t you?

Tony always says you can go and show it to Mummy, and as if I’m watching from across the road I can see you running down the drive in it, along the path, through the gate, and up through the garage door. Mummy’s usually in the kitchen doing something, and she always says how pretty you look as you hop about and twirl around. That curly head of hair you have seems to really go with all the dresses.

Yes, I know, you wish you could wear dresses all the time because they feel so right for you. Isn’t it a shame that you have to wear boring old boys clothes so much? The little girls at school wear some lovely dresses too, don’t they? And yes, I know you’d like to be like them, but that just can’t be darling.

Now listen carefully, because I have some good news for you and some bad news.

I suppose I’d better get the bad news out of the way first. Unfortunately there will come a time when Tony will stop asking you to model the dresses for him. Not for a few years yet though, maybe when you’re about eight years old and have grown to be so much bigger than his niece.

But don’t worry, darling, the good news is that one day you’ll be wearing dresses again, and guess what … it will be whenever you want to. All the time, if that’s what you want!

You will just need to be patient, my love, but it will happen.

I’ll write to you again when you’re fifteen, but in the meantime you be a good boy and work hard at school. I know you will.

Lots of love.

You, aged 67.

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