A love letter to my nieces.
I knew when my brother had three girls that we were all in for it. Here was this man who was never supposed to be able to have kids but was somehow blessed with three of them and now was responsible for raising a house full of daughters . I'll tell you what, having a big brother can be a real challenge growing up but my sister in law and three nieces are the best gift he could have ever given me and for that he basically gets a free pass in life.
So you have these beautiful, smart, strong, kind, sweet, little girls and they STEAL YOUR HEART and you love them and laugh with them and they are your whole world... and you wonder how the hell you can possibly keep them from knowing about the dangers of life. You want to protect them, to wrap your arms around them so tight that they can never fall apart no matter who tries to break them. And you try to figure out how that can be possible; it has to be possible right?
I dreaded the junior high and high school years for my girls. DREADED. That was the worst time of my life. It was kill or be killed and I wasn't a killer. I used to watch my nieces playing as toddlers and I would say "mark my words if those catty high school bitches ever try to hurt them I will start a war."
And then they do. And there is NOTHING you can do to stop it. There's absolutely nothing you can do to protect them from the shit of the world and the hard times. All you can do is what my parents did for me, build a foundation in them so strong that no outside force can break them. Be their advocate and shower them with the kind of love and attention that makes them know that they are capable of anything.
So this is my love letter to my nieces.
Kaity it's as if someone took my 15-year-old soul, my 22-year-old personality and my 35-year-old anxiety and wrapped it into this little bundle of joy named Kaitlyn Elizabeth. I'm sorry that you're just like me because we know the struggles that comes with that. Fight against those struggles. Since you were a baby you've always had the uncanny ability to charm absolutely anyone and everyone. You appreciate the things that matter. You are too smart for your own good Kaity and that's why things feel so hard a lot of the times. I see so much strength in you and admire you every single day for the growth and the fight in you. Not every 12-year-old could talk their 35-year-old aunt down from a panic attack. You are so special and so unique. You are beautiful and kind and talented as hell and you're SMART. Use that intelligence for good Kaity and when the world feels like it's too much, just try to remember that it's not. That's just your brain working too fast. Feed it as much good as you can so there isn't as much room for the bad. Don't let the scary things in life close you off to the good. Dot let fear ever hold you back because I promise you that you are capable of ANYTHING. You have the world at your feet Kaity, don't overthink it, don't second guess it, just LIVE it.
Maddi, our closed minded world isn't always going to understand you. That's ok. It doesn't always understand any of us. Since you were able to walk and talk everyone knew how special and different you were. You were the most beautiful, kindest, sweetest, old soul to ever sport rock t-shirts and funky hats as a toddler and absolutely nothing has changed about that. Your deep empathy and love for others makes you stand apart from a majority of the world that can't see outside their own heads. Please don't ever lose that. YOU ARE SO UNIQUE AND WONDERFUL and your smile lights up a room. Don't ever let the hard times or the bad people in the world take that from you. People are going to be mean. Love them anyway. Life is going to be hard. Live it anyway. You keep loving everyone and everything and living life the way you want. Take all the good you know and throw it right back at the world tenfold and then just let the bad times go. You are not wrong and you matter. Drown yourself in music and laughter and the things that make you happy. This world would be lost without a Madison Afton exactly as she is.
Tristin, my first love, my first niece. You are the spitfire, the feisty one. You have an awfully big role to fill as the big sister these girls look up to and you've always done a phenomenal job. Your sense of humor has always been so advanced and made you stand out in the crowd. You are so special, so kind, so caring, so unique. You have one of those spirits that can't be broken but that comes with a lot of responsibility because you're the kind of person that has to help others not be broken. You are a leader and a lover and people respect you. You must continue to show them that beautiful smart women can also be kind and strong and build others up. People will take your lead because people admire and love you. You've never given a shit what anyone thinks and for that you are so incredibly special. Be that strong willed, but gentle and loving woman that you already are and be proud of the road you've walked Tristin Marie. Your sisters are watching.
Tristin, Madison, and Kaitlyn. Life is hard. It can be ugly and scary and hurtful. It can threaten to break you. There are times you are going to feel alone- you are not. There are times that you are going to think the world is out to get you - it is not. You are going to make mistakes that hurt, that break your heart, that embarrass you or make you question if you are right - that is what your family is here for. I promise that no matter what life throws at you , it is ultimately good and there is so, so, so much love all around you.
So girls, beautiful fierce, strong girls, always remember how loved you are, how valuable you are, and that you have the biggest advocate and cheerleader in the world in your parents, grandparents, and Aunt Nikki. Life is HARD. It will threaten to break you, to beat you, to make you want to give up on people at times. Don't let it. Because I promise you that the good times are so so good and SO worth it and the hardest times are the ones you learn the biggest lessons from and grow the most from. And growing as a person is truly what life is all about. All three of you are leaders and people that admire you are looking to you to show them the way. Show them how strong and kind you can be. And never forget how loved you are ❤