Hello little one,
You don’t know me but you often see me on “family facetime” conversations and although you readily recognise your “Lola” (Filipino for “Grandmother”), you don’t know who I am and you don’t ask. Maybe you’ve been told not to.
Anyway, let me introduce myself…I’m your Aunty Janet.
When I look at your little-boy face and hear your cute little voice, I fall a little more in love with you each time and I sooo desperately want to meet you, cuddle you and play with you. Your Dad cut me off before you were born into this world and has decided to suddenly add to me to family conversations on Facebook chat now – so I’m abruptly in your life and you have no idea how badly I’d love to meet you.
You are a tiny version of your Mom and your Dad. I think you look like your Dad but my Mom (your Lola) thinks you look more like your Mom and as we continue to talk and I carefully watch you, I think Mom’s right. You look a lot like your Mom. She’s really beautiful and you are the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
Your Dad is my little brother. In my life, anyway. In your Dad’s life, I’m a nuisance, a worthless ‘human’ and someone he’d easily step over to get by. I don’t like having to tell you that because I think he’s probably a really good Dad to you…but that’s the real story. I often wonder what version you’ve been told. Am I a villain in your stories? Are you told not to talk to me? You did once about a few months ago – you spoke directly to me. It broke my heart that you called me “Lady” but you wanted to tell me that mixing blue and yellow paint makes green. You’re so smart, Sebastian. I’m so proud of you. I wanted to interact with you and was SO HAPPY you were talking to me, so I asked you what would happen if you added black paint to the new green paint. You thought for about 2 milli seconds before answering with a disgusted look “Then you’d get all yucky paint! All black!” You’re amazing, Sebastian. You’re smart like your parents.
You’ve recently become a big brother to your sister Lily and she’s the one who looks like a carbon copy of your Dad. It was a shock to see her picture when she was only a few days old and see my own brother’s face mirrored in her tiny one. Your parents told my Mom she looks like her and that would have made my Mom’s day. She adores you both, you know. I do, too.
Oh how badly I want to meet you both.
I worry for you as the oldest child now because when my little brother was born, I got pushed out of the family space and relegated to another person in the house rather than a member of the family. I was only 5 – the same as you – and it was a big shock to me. It broke my heart.
I have faith though that the same thing won’t happen to you because when I was allowed to meet and get to know your Mom a very long time ago, I was absolutely enchanted by her. She’s a kind, caring, sweet person with a wonderful sense of humour and when I see her cheering you on as you learn Karate or go on rides at the fair (Your Mom sends me videos of you that I highly suspect are ‘under the radar’ as your Dad would not like that one bit), I can hear absolute love and adoration in her voice. I don’t think you’ll be left out in your family or forgotten about. I think you’ll be loved and cherished your whole life. That makes me so happy.
I want the best things for you, Sebastian and because you are my nephew, I will always love you. I will wait quietly on the sidelines and rejoice whenever your Dad lets me into your lives. I love seeing you and hearing your little voice. I love that you are always so happy and when you laugh…oh my heart…I think it’s the nicest sound I’ve ever heard in my life.
I will watch closely as you grow and I’ll be praying God’s blessing and favour upon you. I love that you easily make friends – even when standing in line at a fair (another video your Mom kindly sent me), that you try so hard at Karate (I can’t believe how small you all are and that you are so brave to try so many new things, you strike me as pretty fearless, kiddo). I love how smart you are and I love that last night, your Dad suprised me and sent me a 25 second video of you, so tiny and cute – so confident, too – sitting at the dinner table. In the video, you lean back confidently in your chair (you look so little in such a big chair, bless you) and you say with the confidence of a well-loved, cherished little boy “Soooooo….what do you know about snakes?”
Oh my heart, I love the confidence you asked with! You are so cute, so smart and so confident.
I guess snakes are your ‘thing’, huh? When your Dad was the same age as you, dinosaurs were his. I see so much of your Dad in you, Sebastian. You have his charm, his confidence and his intelligence. Mix that in with having a badass LAWYER as your Mom and I think you’re in for an extraordinary life.
I’m going to research snakes and learn some facts so that if one day your Dad decides to let me meet you, I can impress you. I so want you to like me and feel comfortable in my presence, you know. It means so much to me. YOU mean so much to me.
You won’t know this about me because I suspect you only hear awful things about me, but I’m actually pretty AMAZING when it comes to working with children. It’s because my heart was made for teaching. When I was around your age, my favourite thing was to “play teacher” and I would make your Dad come to many of my ‘lessons’ as he was growing up. I love children and I’ll tell you a secret – I’ve never in my whole life met a child who didn’t end up wanting to be my best friend. I think children can sense that I’m so excited to be with them, that I want to teach them and that the little girl who lives in my heart and was forgotten about the moment your Dad was brought home in his blue baby blanket – well she loves to play…sometimes she comes out and she’s the reason I still to this day love lego, building cubby houses, playing with slime and playdough, I’m great at thinking up all kinds of games, playing with toys, I know loads of children’s songs, can play fun musical instruments and blow awesome bubbles. Because of the little girl who lives in my heart, I’ve gotten a lot of shy children to laugh, happy children to grow and to reach their full potentials and even slightly naughty/cheeky children to trust me and learn to behave nicely. I know without a doubt that if you met me, within an hour, you wouldn’t want to let me go. It sounds pretty boastful, I know…and that’s not a good thing…but I know it’s true and I wanted to tell you that.
I hope you are always loved, Sebastian. I hope you grow in confidence. I hope you keep trying new things. I hope you forever remain fearless.
My advice to you is this, little one:
Always be kind. Kindness is magic and is the reason we all exist in this world. Whenever you can, share your toys, talk with your friends and play nicely with other children.
Ask your Dad about your Grandad, he is a very important person in your life. Your Grandad isn’t here anymore and you’ve seen a lot of Facetime conversations where your Dad, your Lola and I get upset when we talk about your Grandad. We are all very sad he’s had to go to Heaven and we all miss him. He absolutely ADORED you and he’ll be watching over you with a big smile as you grow up. Always know he loved you. I hope you’ll ask questions about him and get to hear all about his crazy life and how much he laughed and loved it. He loves you and always will.
Always try your best, especially in hard things. I think you already do this, I just pray you continue to be brave and strong. You can do ANYTHING, Sebastian. Anything you set your mind and heart to. You are capable of incredible greatness, I can see that in you every time you speak.
Find things that you love to do – and do that as much as you can in your everyday life. If you love music, immerse yourself in all different genres and talk to people who love it so you can learn so much about it. If you love sports, play with all your heart and all your might. If you love painting and art – then you paint and make whatever art YOU like, don’t let anyone tell you how to do it – you do it your own way.
Your parents might teach you differently because they are both very ambitious, but being a kind person is so much more important than being a rich person. Your parents are wealthy and your Dad in particular loves material things and to show off his success through money and power over others…but those things aren’t as important as being a good friend, a caring person and someone who is kind to everyone around them. Don’t strive for wealth, little one – strive for adventures with good friends, to travel the world and learn to be grateful for what you have, to hold the door for others, to let cars in front of yours when you learn to drive and to say kind things about others when they aren’t in the room. Or when they are. It’s important that you use your words to build people up, Sebastian. Never to tear them down or to have power or control over them.
Please be a gentleman, little one. Please treat girls and women with kindness and integrity. Respect them and when they say “no”, don’t try to convince them otherwise to get your own way.
And lastly? Please know that you are so loved. YOU are my favourite little 4 year old in the whole world.
Be good, have fun and be kind!!!
Love you so much,
Your Aunty Janet xx