A Letter to my Niece on her 10th birthday
To my brilliant and fearless niece on your 10th birthday,
On the day you were born, I had no way of knowing just how much your sassy and strong presence would impact our lives. It felt like eternity waiting for your arrival. But in true Abby fashion, you were born when you were good and ready, and on your own terms. I couldn’t wait to see you…to hold you. Jokingly, I kept asking your mommy and daddy when I could paint your nails. Now, ten years later, it’s one of our favorite things to do together. This is ten.
You were complete perfection wrapped in a blanket with an adorable pink hat on – I wanted to hold you- Like. All. The. Time. – I even took off work after your mommy got home from the hospital. I sat on the couch holding you and staring at you for hours. Mommy and Daddy said I could lay you in the pack n play, but I wasn’t giving you up. This was my day to snuggle you. All your aunts took off a day of work to help out mommy and daddy. Daddy was probably so sick of us being there all the time, but we wanted as much time with you as possible.
I had no idea I could love anything so much. I may have my own girls now, but you will always be a very special fourth daughter -and I know your other aunts feel the exact same way.
My Abby girl, you have been a gift to everyone since the day you were born, but we had no idea just how much of a gift you were until 7-months later. You became the core of this family. You became the light that kept us going. You made us smile and you made us laugh on our hardest days. I would have loved you with my whole being, even if your daddy didn’t go to Heaven, but now I get to love you extra for your daddy too.
Your life has been a series of beautiful, BLUE, dragonfly signs. When you were a baby, the wallpaper and decor in your room were dragonflies, the hooks for your dogs’ leashes were dragonflies, and at Mom Mom and Pop Pop’s house, you would stare at a fan with dragonfly lights and giggle and smile. It confirmed what we knew all along, that your daddy is always with you.
At the age of ten, you are the oldest of ten cousins and your brothers who look up to you. You are a role model for the younger girls, Peyton, Parker, Piper, Kami, Lexi, and Jordyn. And you are a leader among the boys in the family, PJ, Brayden, Zach, and Jaxon.
In honor of your milestone 10th birthday. Here are just a few of the reasons why I love you so incredibly much.
YOUR Sass… When you were a toddler, you were a bit speech delayed. We would say to you, “Abby can you say..?” and you would look up and say in a very matter of fact tone, “No.” What we didn’t realize at the time was that you were playing us. You did eventually start talking, and now we can’t get you to stop. You still have so much sass and a little twinkle in your eye when you throw that sass around. Continue to speak your mind and don’t ever accept anything less than what you deserve. Sass it up everywhere you go, but remember to be kind.
YOUR Independence… Abby, you are the only 10-year old I know who is completely comfortable being away from your mom for extended periods of time to explore the world. I can’t even get my girls to sleep in their own beds, yet you have traveled to Europe, Florida, and California. Your request to spend a semester in Italy, and your longing for experience, travel, and adventure shows your spirit and zest for life. Travel the world beautiful girl.
YOUR Fearlessness: Nothing scares you and honestly, sometimes that scares me. Roller coasters, airplanes, gymnastics, and your newest adventure, silks… I want to protect you. I want to keep you safe. But then I look at you and I realize that your daddy is guiding you. Experience all that life offers. Go on adventures. Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back – even the aunts, uncles, and grandparents that want to preserve you in bubble wrap.
YOUR Kindness… You have your sass, but boy are you sweet. Your patience with your adoring cousins, especially, Piper Steven, who wants you to hold her and carry her everywhere. Even when your arms are tired, your heart isn’t, and you would do anything for your family – even your crazy brothers. You have graciously transitioned into a beautiful life with your mommy, Jesse, and the boyswhile having a healthy and mature beyond your years understanding of all that you have experienced.
YOUR Giggle… When you giggle, we all go back in time and for just a moment we hear the sound of your dad’s giggle. In those wonderful moments of your laughter, I feel like I’m sitting next to my brother. Abby, in so many little ways, you are much like your dad. How can you be so much like him when you didn’t even know him? But how wonderful to see Steven and have a part of him with us. Your giggle is infectious and makes us all so happy. Never stop giggling.
Abbylicious, I can’t wait to watch what you do…to watch what you accomplish… and to watch how you change the world.
Dream big Princess Abby, dream big.