lily girl –
you are one year old today. and what a year it’s been, girlfriend.
so i obviously have a cute outfit to give you as a present but as the little sister of your mom – your crazy aunt – and the one who sometimes learned lessons the hard way, i thought i’d impart the little wisdom i have gleaned and tell you about this family you’re apart of.
your mom, my big sister, is one of the very best people i know. she is so different from me, and much better than me. she’s one of those women that was born to be a mom. your mom. she wanted you so badly, sunshine – when she learned you were coming, you made her world turn. you still do. She’s one of the kindest, most generous, loving people I know. She does worry a lot, I know, and tends to be a little overprotective, but it’s because her world would shatter to see you in any amount of pain. So when you feel like she’s being overbearing, try to remember how vital you are to her life.
Your dad – well I tell your mom all the time how lucky she is to have found a good one. As you grow up, you’ll realize how hard those are to find. He’s a calming force. He’ll be your anchor in life when everything feels so wrong. Take note of how he treats you and your momma, and know that you don’t deserve to be treated any less by anyone.
Mimi and chief – well they are the two best people I’ve ever known. Mimi, like your mom, was born to be a mom. She is selfless, I have always been in awe of it. Listen to her, but more importanly watch her. watch how she gives friends “just because” presents to brighten their day, how she buys a person’s favorite thing for them when they’re going through a hard time. she’s the kind of mom that bought me a valentine’s day present every year – even though i hate the holiday, because even if i was single, she wouldn’t let me think for a second that i was unlovable. When you’re cooking with her, take note of the secret ingredient she uses to make her chili so addicting. Watch her set the table and put the monogrammed napkins in the bathroom. She is the consummate hostess. and she has taught me so much about life and love and family. She will spoil you rotten. And cheer the loudest at your graduation. Let her.
Now my dad, chief to you, is a superhero. He won’t take credit for it, but he is. He is hardworking. he is selfless. He has this rare ability to take the world in, really soak it up and appreciate the exact place he is. He is a family man and he’s also the hardest working man i know. Learn from him. Ask him how he changed that tire, if he can show you how to tie that rope knot, how to climb a tree, if he’ll help you make a frog catcher. he’s also a great listener and the best hugger around. So when you need to be squeezed really tight, find chief and the world will feel right again.
Your uncle Andrew. He’s one cool dude, but I’ll never admit it to his face. Everyone loves uncle Andrew. As they should. He is good. Just so good. He is loyal, and the best friend a person could want. I call him buddy, because that’s exactly what he is. He’s been my buddy my whole life. I don’t get to see him very often right now, and I miss him terribly. Everything’s better when he’s around. When you want an adventure. When you want to travel. When you want to do better in the world, call him. He will tell you how. Actually, he’ll probably show you.
Now when you find yourself in a bit of trouble, that’s where I come in. when a boy you gave everything to breaks your heart, when you have your first hell of a hangover, when you fight with a friend, when you find yourself in a place you don’t want to be with a best friend, when you don’t know who to call and you’re not ready for your parents to come, you just give me a call lily girl. I will come. No matter where I am or what I’m doing – I will come to you. I promise you, I will be there. I will kick ass and take names, I will protect you (I will probably kick your butt later). I will love you through it. and then we’ll figure out a way to tell your mom.
The good news there is – I have a lot of dirt on your momma.
Our family is a little nuts, but it’s only because we fight passionately and love fiercely. There are a lot of people in this world that aren’t kind and don’t want the best for you. But these people I’ve told you about on these pages, these people are more than enough.
So you see lily. I just want to make sure you always know how loved you are. And if ever you forget, you can read this letter and call any of these people, and they will remind you. They will remind you that you bring light and love to this world in a way that no one else ever has.
You are unrepeatable, irreplaceable, and unique and the day you were born the world changed for the better because you are in it. There never was or ever will be anyone like you because you are special.
i love you something fierce lily girl, don’t you forget it.