Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dearest Natalie

As I write this, you are only 19 months old. You are a calm, intelligent, kind little girl (well, at least you were when I last saw you). I don't know what age you'll be when you read this, but I hope that you'll humor your aunt for a bit. Your aunt, who is 25 and missing your hugs.

How old am I as you read this? Am I still someone who you could imagine writing the things like I've written in this blog? Have I given you a summer in San Francisco, like I've always threatened your father with? If I haven't, you're due for one.

For Christmas this year your parents got you a massive play kitchen. I'm not sure if you'll remember it, but I'm sure your mother has lots of pictures to remind you. It has a little burner that when you place pots or pans on it, makes a sizzling and bubbling noise. You were extremely cautious of that little toy burner. When it first sizzled, your eyes grew to the size of saucers and you said "hot" as you withdrew from your kitchen. Your mother showed you that it was okay, but still you were wary of that little burner for all of Christmas day. I'm sure by now you are no longer afraid of that little toy burner, having been assured of it's safe nature, but I will not forget how cautious you were those first few days.

Now, as you read this, I hope that you are brave in facing your fears. I hope that you have not grown to be crash and reckless with them, but that you respect and try to understand them. That you learn that being afraid is not the same as being weak, and that those two words cannot be interchanged lightly. You can still be afraid and be brave at the same time. It is because being brave means understanding that there is something to be afraid of, and still facing it anyway.

This isn't to say that you weren't brave when you were young. This isn't to say that you haven't been brave in your past, my future. This is to say that I hope you continue to be brave, regardless and because of everything that you have grown to become.

Aunt Ni

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