For My Nieces and Nephews

My family is currently separated from my niece and 2 nephews. I pray they are safe and remain strong. I know we will see them again soon. In the meantime, here are a couple words that I wish for each of them, that they use each of their talents to both question their situation in their own ways (rather than accepting it as the way things should be) and find outlets to cope.

To Dylan:

The pressure and expectations typically fall to the oldest
to set the example for younger siblings –
to be quiet while others are taking naps,
your needs becoming less important
than the diaper changes and routine feedings of babies –
it will push you to continually better yourself
if you set aside “I can’t”
and see that achievement is in reach
(even the most complex paper airplane).
Through our shared love (/addiction at times) for Star Wars and gaming,
I can understand how the characters
in these fantasy worlds can provide a short escape.
It’s okay to rely on this alternative,
but keep searching for a link to the present
that will fill you with the same passions.

To Jonathan:

Your sweetness wins over our hearts,
even when you are demanding your favorites:
“pizza pizza” or “water park.”
You are absorbing knowledge every waking moment:
eager to listen to a new story, try a new challenge,
or build a new creation from Play Doh.
I hope that curiosity for more information
will remind others
that we cannot always accept the present situation.
Watching your favorite movies, we snuggled on the couch
as you quietly settled in to relax.
Let that compassion and peace allow you to forgive
even the most spiteful actions that you may encounter.

To Brooklyn:

Your intense eyes inspect the world around you
as you explore the way a drawer opens and closes
and watch others as they eat or speak.
Your face often turns into a frown:
I suspect most words will end as questions once you start talking
and you push the boundaries to find truth.
As a woman in our family,
you may already stress and worry
over the every day things in life we cannot control.
At Christmas you were becoming better at walking,
but your feet still got ahead of your body
and you stumbled across the room,
falling halfway and then pulling yourself back up to try again.
These are fundamental skills you will need through life –
to surface the courage in yourself and stay on path,
though you may feel embarrassed by the error.

Wanted to share these beautiful pictures of our other niece and nephew:

Our niece, Chloe (more on her soon!)

Henry, who we are just getting to know. He is full of joy and has an easy going personality! He has already road tripped halfway across the US. He also loves big kisses from Nova!

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