There have been some pretty exciting moments in my life, but the day my nephew was born was hands down the best. I thought being able to hold and play with a baby would be fun, but I didn’t expect that seeing him grow into the little man that he is today would be the greatest and most rewarding aspect of being an aunt. Every time I see him he’s noticeably taller, has learned new words, and is more difficult to pick up. Sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock so that I could rock a tiny baby to sleep and so his hands would go back to being small. I know that I can’t slow down how fast time goes with him, so instead, I have some wishes for my nephew as he grows up.
1. Never stop being kind and considerate no matter what society says about boys.
Nephew, you are so sweet to everyone you meet and you love to give out smooches and hugs. You always ask us how we are feeling and worry if what you say and do makes us sad. The world tells us that boys should be tough, strong, and should hide their emotions, but you can be tough and strong and still have empathy and compassion. The world needs the compassion you have, and I wish that someday you will channel it all into something that will impact the lives of people who need it the most.
2. Follow your dreams.
So often people try to box us in and tell us what we can and cannot do. It took me a long time to understand that as long as I worked hard, I could be most anything I set my mind to. I hope you realize this sooner than I did and that you never let anyone hold you back. You are fascinated by so many things in this world right now, but someday you will find the one thing that catches your eye. I hope you never settle for anything less than that and you pursue it. You have the most supportive family who loves to watch you grow and explore, and we want it to take you somewhere that you love.
3. Fight for what you believe in.
There will come a time when you develop your own understanding of the world and have your own set of beliefs. They might be like your mom and dad’s, or they could be completely different. I hope, however, that you fight for your beliefs. I hope this world that you’re about to grow up in doesn’t discourage you, but instead encourages you to speak out. Never let Facebook comments tell you what is right or wrong, and never let anyone silence your voice.
4. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
We all make mistakes. Everyone in our family has made their own mistakes. There will be multiple points in your life where there will be two paths to take, but it’s okay if you take the “wrong one” on your first try. Sometimes you’ll make big mistakes that might have consequences, but make sure you learn from them. Even though it might feel like it, it’s not the end of the world. Always remember that you’re never too proud to apologize to someone.
5. No matter where you go in this world, never forget to come home every once in awhile.
I hope your life takes you on incredible journeys to places all over the world. I hope you land that dream job no matter what state it takes you to. I hope you get into that dream school even if it’s hours away. You will do so many fantastic things in the life ahead of you, but never forget that you will always belong with us no matter how far you wander. Even if you decide to just visit for a day, your family members are the people who stick by your side no matter what. So don’t ever hesitate to come home because home is where everyone loves you.