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Photo by Alyssa Hanford
Culture

A Letter For My Nephew

Allen,

My brain can’t even begin to process how the last year with you has completely changed me as a person. My heart grew 3 sizes when I first met you, but it has continued to grow with every moment I spend getting to know you and watching your personality develop into a vibrant ball of sunshine that lights up every room you’re in. I know everyone on Forensic Files says that about the people they love, but it’s actually true in your case, I swear! You’re funny and playful and curious and all the best parts of life wrapped up into one tiny, squishy person.

I’m going to be honest with you, I never even really liked kids. I always felt awkward around them. I just kind of decided I didn’t have the motherly instinct that everyone always talked about. And yet, when I found out you were on your way, I was free of worries and so overwhelmed with joy and excitement. It was the very beginning of the pandemic and life was weird. I basically was having an early quarter life crisis. I was away from my friends. I missed my brother, who joined the Air Force. I was mourning the college years that I had romanticized in my mind my entire life. Nothing seemed like it was going the right way, but you caught me by surprise and anchored me with a new hope that everything would be okay somehow.

I actually had never held a baby before you (I was the baby of the family and pet sitting and house sitting were more my speed). You were just a little blob in my arms, but you were perfect. As weeks, and then months, went by, I couldn’t believe how natural it all felt. You made it easy to hold you and love you. It’s not really something you can describe to someone who doesn’t have a child in their life, but it’s like all of a sudden your brain rewires itself and they’re the main concern/consideration in nearly every situation, no matter how small. You might think this is stupid and laugh at me when you’re older, but my best friend asked me if I would take a bullet for Harry Styles and I said “I usually would say yes, but now I have to watch Allen grow up.” It’s a dumb example, but it’s true! You changed my worldview. There seriously isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you. Need to bury a body? I’ll put all of my true crime knowledge to use! Just kidding. Maybe.

I guess I just want you to know that I’ll be here whenever you need me, and even when you don’t. Growing up is scary and really really confusing. You’re constantly second guessing yourself, wondering if you’re making the right choices and not knowing what’s going to come next. I would give up everything for you to not have to face that, to just stay frozen where you are, but you’ll have to eventually. You need to experience the worst parts to appreciate the best parts. It’s cliché—trust me I know—but it’s one truth that I haven’t been able to ignore over the past few years. 

More than anything: I can’t wait to bake you any and everything you want. I can’t wait to show you all my favorite movies and songs and books. I can’t wait to watch you explore and take over the world. Happy belated first birthday, I can’t wait for all the ones to come.

Love, 

Auntie

P.S. Live footage of me at all of your future school/extracurricular events:

Hello! I'm currently studying Advertising at the University of Texas at Austin. In my free time, I'm constantly baking, listening to true crime podcasts, and spending time with my family. Connect with me on IG: www.instagram.com/unorachel
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