By the time this is written and posted, you’ve probably already been born at the very least. I have no idea what stage in life you may be by the time you actually read this. You may never read this. Heck, it wouldn’t surprise me if you never were informed of my existence. I think I might have pissed off a lot of your immediate family and may be in the process of doing so again. But this isn’t for them and in the off chance that you ever find and read this, I hope it can help, whatever your opinion of me is.

I recently read your mother’s letter to you. It was cute, but it also had a lot of cultural assumptions that you don’t need to fill in order to live a full and happy life. And I thought I’d expand upon your mother’s well-wishes with some of my own.1If nothing else, it will put this Cultural Studies degree to good use. :p So let’s get started.

“I cannot wait to watch your personality develop. I cannot wait to watch you blossom into a beautiful little girl, a sassy teenager, then into a strong, incredible woman.”

Musselman, Jessica “Tomorrow We Meet.” Web blog post. Life’s A Jess. Squarespace, 3 December 2018. Web. 4. December. 2018.

Unless you’re trans, or gender non-conforming, or non-binary, or a surly teenager, or a polite teenager, or a snarky teenager, or a depressed teenager, or whatever you may grow to become. There’s no right way to fill any of the roles people will expect of you, except to be yourself, whoever you may be. It may not be the easiest path but it is worth it.

“I cannot wait to watch Calvin become a big brother. […] He is going to love you fiercely and protect you with everything he has. You two are so blessed to have each other.”

(Musselman)

I hope the bonds that you two create as children will continue to grow and develop your whole lives. Keep hold of that. Sibling relationships are precious things to waste.

“I cannot wait to watch your Daddy hold you for the first time. […] There are not many men like him, and my heart could not be happier that he is your role model for what a man should be. I pray that you look to his example when you begin to date and search for your partner in life.”

(Musselman)

Unless you’re into women, or both, or no one at all. I hope that both of your parents provide the groundwork of a healthy relationship, romantic or otherwise. I hope that you can find role models, advice, and support, whoever and however many people you befriend and/or date. 

“I cannot wait to watch you develop your relationship with Christ.”

(Musselman)

Unless you end up agnostic, atheistic, Wiccan, Buddhist, or whatever religion you may ascribe to as you grow older. I hope that whatever spiritual path you take that you find fulfillment, or at least a purpose, to strive for. We’re all trying to grasp for answers, after all.

The most important thing, though, is that I hope you know and believe that you have value purely because you exist. It doesn’t matter how well you fit the expectations of yourself or others, the fact you are here is reason enough. As I write this, you are a bundle of potential, and I can’t wait to hear about what you grow to be.2Or see, if I’m lucky.

I hope your life is an interesting one,

Your Cousin, Catherine.

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