A Letter To My One-Year-Old Godson

A Letter To My One-Year-Old Godson

I love you, Nigel. Thank you for teaching a college student a lesson she couldn’t learn in the classroom.
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An open letter to my one year old godson

Don’t grow up too fast

Dear Nigel,

The year is currently is 2017 and I am writing this letter to you as a 19-year-old college student. Nigel, you are only a year old and are already developing a little personality. When you were born, I was so excited to hold you and kiss you (like the rest of our family). Nigel, I watched you grow for the past year and I just want to tell you how amazing it is to continue to always watch you grow. When you were a few months old, anyone who held you had to support your little head as we carried you. Now, you don’t even like being carried anymore because you are running around everywhere. Ashish and I would take you into town in your cute stroller. We would go into the deli, and the people just knew you and also watched you grow because you are so hard to forget. Whenever we didn’t bring you to the deli, the employees would always ask about where you were! You were never a problem to go out with. I knew some babies who would fuss or make a big deal out of going out, but not you. In my eyes and our whole families, you are perfect.

Now that you are walking, I can’t catch up to you because you are running and walking all over the place. You are already saying little words and phrases like “apple”, “banana”, and you laugh whenever I looked at you real close and say “pumpkin.” Your laugh is filled with life and love, and I know you put a smile on everyone’s face. I can tell you will always have a little mischievous side because whenever we say “Nigel, don’t touch” you smile and say “I touch.” Everyone who hears you say that laughs and kisses you because you are so irresistible.

Now, you are probably wondering why I am writing this letter, but it is to tell you thank you. Thank you for giving me a chance to be closer to your parents. When you were born, I was afraid of losing touch with your parents because new babies are hard in the beginning, but not you. I am so close with your parents Joanna and Steven. I even get a chance to see my godmother, Pandora, and the rest more often too. Thank you for always putting a smile on my grandmother’s face. She was struggling until you were born; now she can’t get enough of you. When she looks at you, it’s the way she looked at us when we were your age. It warms my heart to see my grandmother's face so full of life because of you.

When I got the announcement and was asked to be your godmother, I was so excited! I know how special you are to me already and being your godmother only makes me more honored. Your christening was beautiful and I had such a blast. You were the center of attention, and everyone held you and kissed you because it was your day. I know you are only one right now, but I wish it could stay this way forever.

I’m writing this letter to remind you to enjoy your youth. I know how smart you are and I know you have so much potential. You are going to do so well in school and get all the ladies with that dashing smile and your eyes. You are a perfect mixture of your parents; make sure to always appreciate them. I see how hard they work every day for you never forget to thank them for everything. I love you, Nigel. Thank you for teaching a college student a lesson she couldn’t learn in the classroom.

Love,

Your Nouna (godmother)

Cover Image Credit: Chrysanne George

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.

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Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

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