Dear Cheetah, age 7

Dear Cheetah, age 7,

I hope you are fine. 
Really and truly fine, 
not the fake fine we learned to tell mom and dad when they asked, 
“What was the trouble? Why aren’t you sleeping?”
I writing you today to tell you that that you are amazing and you are safe. 
Don’t be scared.
I know it isn’t easy to sleep, but don’t scare yourself 
You are fine.
Isn’t it funny how protected you are in your innocence?
I was telling Mom just the other day 
- she’s older that Grandma now, by the way - 
I told her about all of the neighbors that used to give you candy, so you didn’t have to cross the street to go to the store. 
They let the whole neighborhood play in their yards. 
Why, without fences, it was hard to tell where one yard ended and the next one started.
And they didn’t care.
I wanted to write to you and tell you that you jump farther from the swings than anyone can. 
That’s why Mr. Gulleckson called you Cheetah. 
I guess you looked like a cat to him.
Don’t be so hard on yourself and if you could, 
please practice being on time 
so you aren’t grounded your entire fourth grade year.
Take care of yourself,
Laurie, Cheetah no longer
PS write back soon!

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