The minute Adam and I bought a house our parents walked into their respective garages, piled boxes and boxes of our childhoods into their cars, and sent them to our house. In the span of a few weeks Adam and I had been delivered our pasts in neatly packaged boxes. “Do with it what you will,” they told us driving away a little lighter. Now I think that those congratulations they wished us when the house closed were really only declarations of happiness as they realized they would soon be rid of our childhood memories gathering dust in their garages.

It’s funny to see the difference between Adam’s childhood and mine. Adam’s boxes were filled with antique Ninja Turtles, and well loved young adult books about hunting, fishing, and boyhood dreams. OH, and of course every Goosebump ever written. There were little league trophies, winning boyscout pinewood derby cars, newspapers, old sports magazines, adorable wooden toys, and more baseball cards than I had ever seen in my life. True to Adam’s OCD these cards were meticulously organized by year and team in binder after binder. This isn’t the sort of kid to just throw cards in a box. No sir.

Next it was my turn to open each box and rifle through what I had deemed worthy of saving for another day. I found yearbooks from junior high (seriously who let me leave the house with hair like that?), both of my American Girl dolls, picture albums galore, trophies, diaries from about 1994 through college, some of the most frightening porcelain dolls ever made, and the best find, three notebooks filled with every single letter anyone wrote me from about the 4th grade through sophomore year of high school. My childhood OCD led me save each and every letter and place them each in plastic document holders in three ring binders. I think my folks thought I was nuts when I began this process as a 4th grader, but now looking through pages and pages of notes about how “Mandy loves Jeff“, and how I’ll die if “Pat doesn’t like me back,” make me so happy.

I want to hug 4th grade me for being so absolutely anal.

She totally made my weekend.


Dear 4th grade Ashley,

Your sense of style is atrocious, but I thank you so much for saving those letters from all your girlfriends. They seriously made my weekend complete. Now please, get a better sweater. Or at least a haircut.


Old-Hag Ashley


  • Naomi

    Style then: bangs, funny old sweatshirt

    Style now: “world’s best Irish grandpa sweatshirt” and silver spandex shorts.

    have things really changed 😉

  • Accidental Olympian

    And if you count the wispy looking bangs I rocked throughout Junior High and a bit of High School then I really think we’re still right where we started.

    Damn. Turns out progress is hard.