To my incredible driven little cousin who isn't so little anymore,
It's been two, almost three years since we last got to see each other. I was a freshman in high school and you were eight-years-old. Four years later you came to my graduation and I could already tell how much you had grown up. When we were little I loved being able to have a little cousin to hang out with, show around, and tell everyone about.
Then things changed: you moved and found somewhere that ended up being perfect for you. I liked everything your mom put on Facebook and was your biggest fan even though we were across the country from each other. Your mom would talk about how fast you pitched a ball, the tournament you won, every home-run, and about you making the Varsity softball team as a freshman. You bet all my friends at my university heard about it.
Then I you asked me to be your sponsor and I couldn't have been more honored. I got to be by your side as you made a huge decision in your faith. The coolest part was I got to see you and your family. I got to see just how much you grew up between the two years since I had last seen you. You're in high school, driving, and basically killing it!
I finally got to watch you play the sport you love. Your dedication absolutely amazed me. Nothing could stop you. My first day with you, you had just gotten back from practice and school and wanted to practice hitting already. Loving a sport is one thing but being as dedicated as you are is another thing. Having the chance to watch you play was one of my favorite parts of that trip. Getting to see how happy softball makes you made me happy.
But most of all I loved getting to know you all over again. I loved being around you and seeing the new mature young woman you are becoming. Just hanging out by the pool or on the boat with you was all I could ever imagine.
I can't wait to see you grow up more, hit some dingers (I'm trying to learn softball terms for you), and become an even better awesome kick butt little cousin. I can't wait to watch you pick your college, get your license, and so much more! However please do not rush it! Enjoy every minute of growing up before college. Lay out all your options and take every opportunity you can. Go to football games, try something new, join clubs, and make sure you are doing things that interest you and make you happy! You want to be able to look back and be happy you tried something rather than saying "I wish."
I am so proud of you, you little stud! Keep being awesome and I can't wait to hear more! I love you more than know, no matter the distance!