Dear Inner Child

Dear inner child, I see you there in the dark room with the door held shut, your fear of ghosts manifesting into screams that are met with laughter from the other side. Here, I’ll turn on the light for you. I’m here now, don’t be afraid.

Dear inner child, you must be thirsty after waiting all these hours on this porch for your mother or father or big brother to show up. It’s their loss, my love. They don’t value you the way you deserve. You’ll learn that when you’re older and discover all the treasure you have inside. Here’s a pineapple smoothie blended just the way you like it. Let’s sit together. I’m here now.

Dear inner child, you don’t need to lose weight. The ones who tell you so are simply dusting off their insecurities and placing them squarely on your head. You are beautiful the way you are, so beautiful. Take care of yourself, and enjoy that ice cream.

Dear inner child, you’re sitting alone during recess. I see you staring at that patch of grass with great concentration, pretending you’re deep in thought and choosing to be alone. I’ll sit next to you. You’re not alone. You are loved and valued so much more than you know. I want to hear what you had for lunch, what you think about the new bus driver, and who you wish you were friends with.

Dear inner child, stop staring at the ground wishing you could disappear. I love you and I wouldn’t be here without you. Take my hand. Let’s watch the stars come out. You might not want to hear it, but believe me, you’re more unique than any of those far-off orbs of light.

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Dear inner child, cry. Or laugh manically. Let the tears of catharsis flow through you. Sometimes adults forget that they’re simply grown children and they treat you like a different species. I’m here for you. You are safe now, and perfect as you are.

Dear inner child, I see you crouching in a corner while the trusted ones in your life fight and throw things and break your spirit. Come here, sweetheart. Their fighting and dysfunction has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Feel my arms holding you tight. It’s over now. Their problems can stop at your front door. Those images from the past can’t hurt you anymore in the now.

Dear inner child, those kids laughing at you are just as insecure as you are. They’re just louder about it. Sports isn’t your thing, and that’s fine. These kids will never know the thrill of watching lizards chase each other up your backyard tree. They’ll never know the difference between a chuckwalla and common basilisk, which I saw you reading up on the other day. Keep learning, child. I see you and I so appreciate your carefully collected knowledge.

Dear inner child, don’t stop creating. Keep practicing your craft and don’t stop because others aren’t doing the same. You’re offering something nobody else can give. And if you don’t have any real interests, that’s ok too. They’ll come with time. Keep observing and listening and learning.

Dear inner child, you are amazing. You are healthy, and you are becoming who you are meant to be. Nobody can stomp on your spirit. And you’d be surprised to hear that people want to hear you speak up. So do it. For yourself, and for me. But really only for yourself. I’m standing right behind you. We’ll get through this together, inner child. And we’ll be just fine.