I see the way you are looking at me with that combination of doubt, scorn and boredom neatly arranged on the taunt skin of your face; conveyed succinctly through the tireless popping of your bright blue chewing gum.
Someday you will love a man (maybe you even know him now). You will build a life together. You will discover that love and hate are not opposites, but are intricately intertwined like the brush strokes of an impressionist painting. From a distance it looks seamless, but up close you see all the hard work that goes into love.
Someday you will wonder what happened to the person you thought you would become. You will remember that you had dreams and ambitions. You used to do things.
It may take some time, but you will discover that this person—this tired, faded person with nubbly legs and a style-less ponytail—is more than you could imagine. You will discover that there are no words, no youthful context for the wondrous unseen parts of your life.
There will be moments in your future that you will carry in your spine: the birth of your first child; the easier birth of your second and third child; the miscarriages. These moments will make you stronger, stand a little taller.
Your mother-in-law will despise you for reasons that are unclear and perhaps complicated. She will always be nice to your face, thus making her contempt both bearable and insidious.
You will come to love and forgive your own mother in new and unexpected ways.
Your children will be the very best and absolute worst moments of the rest of your life.
Someday you too will accept defeat in the battle against age. You will surrender to the absolute inevitability of sagging, wrinkled skin. You won't wear make-up to the grocery store.
In your mind’s eye, you will still be the young woman that you liked the best. And no one, no amount of doubt, scorn or boredom can ever take that away from you.