The Up series, originally assisted on, and now directed by Michael Apted is a superb documentary project following the lives of a group of British people from the age of 7 to, now, 56. Every seven years the documentary crew checks in with them. They're ordinary people living their lives, and - even as they express on this latest edition of 56 Up, that none of the viewers can really get a sense of them - we do. I feel I know them, at least somewhat. I care about them. It's moving to see them getting older and go through the rites of passage of marriage, children, parental death, illness... It's a brilliant and moving episodic visit and I urge you to see it.
I have read of people writing letters to themselves as children. It's an interesting thought. Would those letters be better served written for actual children? Maybe heavily edited versions. Most of it would come across as weird, old-person, finger-wagging and whining. I recall my dad telling me how time would fly. Pffff... I couldn't believe him. When I was four, I remember my mother telling me I'd have to wait for an hour for us to go somewhere. An hour! I was horrified. That was forever. I distinctly remember the interaction, the feeling inside me.
What would I say to Little G now, if she was disposed to listen and comprehend?
Oh Little G, you have no idea. An hour is so short and so precious. You will waste many and cherish some. Life will disappoint you in many ways but be more amazing and wonderful than you can ever imagine. The world will be crueler, but the earth will be more breathtakingly beautiful than you suspected. You'll change in ways that will astound you, but remain the same in others. You'll be aware of your mortality way too young, but your strength will amaze you. You will take things too seriously... try not to. And know that only when you're over 40 will you realize that what you really want is what you wanted when you were seven, but convinced yourself for years you didn't. And never EVER visit a chiropractor. That alone is the one thing I would hope you remember. It would make all the difference. I could go on, but you're only four and are not listening and let's not bore the others. Now, go back to playing with your nesting dolls.