Dear Baby Nephew,
Welcome to the world! I think you’ll find it to be an endlessly interesting and frustrating place. And that’s a good thing, too, because if it weren’t frustrating at least sometimes, it would all be terribly boring.
You’ve also been born in the most wonderful time: your time. There have, of course, been other times. But this one is yours, and for that reason, I’m confident it will be marvelous.
These are my hopes for you: that the work we’ve done and will do will make this world a safer and happier place for you to live, no matter who you turn out to be. That you’ll do one spectacular thing while here on Earth, but not feel pressured to do ALL the spectacular things. That you’ll love and be loved deeply for every second of your entire life, and that that love will sustain you and make you better. That you’ll see a problem in the world and fix it. That you’ll see a problem in yourself and fix it. But that you’ll know that we’re always here to help, too. And that the journey of fixing things is more about the journey than the final outcome. It is good to succeed, dear baby nephew, but it may be even better to try valiantly and fail.
So I hope you fail sometimes, because failing is what makes us human, and it is strange and painful and wonderful and beautiful to be a human, to be terribly and miraculously alive.
I hope you get to know your grandparents as much as you can while they’re still here. They are the best people, and there is so much you can learn from them. I hope you inherit your grandfather’s patience and kindness, and your grandmother’s fierce heart and brilliance. I hope you remind us of them even after they’re gone.
Baby Nephew, your dad and I don’t agree on a lot of things, but we will agree on this: to love you with our whole hearts for your whole life, without bounds. Your mom and I do agree on everything, so always listen to her, because she’s right.
Read, Baby Nephew, and write. Learn the stories of others, and learn how to tell your own, too. Dance however you want to, and dress however you want, too. Cheer for the best team in the country, the Alabama Crimson Tide. Find good friends and listen to them, but don’t listen to the haters. Watch Winnie the Pooh, not those weird mind-warping baby YouTube videos. Spend as much time as you can outside. See as much of the world as your time and budget allows. Listen to good music. Don’t go to the dark web. Be slow to anger, and quick to forgive. But don’t be afraid to be angry sometimes: it is a powerful force for change, and it will drive you toward your purpose.
This is your life, Baby Nephew, and we are all so honored to be your witnesses. There is nothing you have to do to make us proud, because we will be proud of every tiny thing you do. But we do put some hope in you, knowing you will be on this planet at least 30 years longer than the rest of us: a hope for a better future. That is a lot for your tiny baby shoulders to carry, so know that you do not carry that burden alone. You hoist it with all the other tiny babies of your generation, all the brand new hearts that are not yet broken.
Find your people. Be kind. Be strong. Let your heart break. Change the world. We will love you with each bold step you take into the future.
Love, Aunt Robyn