I adore you.
You came into my life when I was only a few years older than you are now. I find that so hard to believe.
Where have these last eleven years gone?
I still remember the day you were born. I was thirteen, and I was so excited at the prospect of being an aunt. I couldn’t wait to be the role model that I had seen my parents be to my cousins.
When I first held you, I melted. The smile my face broke into just about pulled muscles in my cheeks. I couldn’t believe that you, the perfect specimen in my arms, were related to me. I felt (and still feel) a responsibility in helping to make your life better.
As you have grown, you have developed into the most opinionated, educated and amiable young man that I have ever met … and you’re only ten! I love that about you.
Even when you were two, you had more confidence and social skills than I had, being thirteen years your senior. I was so proud that you could make friends of all ages within seconds. All you had to do was sight someone, say hello, and BANG! you had yet another person eating out the palm of your hand.
Your sister annoys you, I’m under no illusions that all of your interactions are amiable, but the love that you show her is truly admirable. Do you remember when you, your dad, your sister and I went to mini-golf with you and they had a game arcade attached to it? Your dad allowed you both to have coin limits on the machine and you won so many tickets to be redeemed. Your sister began to get upset that she hadn’t earned enough tickets to redeem a prize.
With your own initiative, you marched up to the desk and you handed your tickets over and asked if you could split the tickets in half and, if so, what could you get with half the amount of tickets you had handed over.
You didn’t have to do that. You had won those tickets on your own, yet you felt obligated to be the awesome big brother that you are, and share the spoils with your little sister. I will never forget how proud I was, in that moment, that you were my nephew.
Though I am not always there, you are always in my thoughts.
From the day you were born, you have been a source of light in my light that I cherish every minute of every day.
I can’t wait to see the man that you become, because I know that you will be the most amazing you that you can possibly be.