Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lydia, Oh Lydia

Today is my niece Lydia's 10th birthday.  She's a special soul who holds a special place in my heart, so I thought I'd write her a little something to let her know how much she means to me.

My dearest Lydia:

Ten years ago today, your introduction to the world was abrupt and a bit scary, as you were a couple of months premature.  I remember visiting you in the NICU and thinking how impossibly small you were.  How it wasn't possible for a human being to be so, so tiny.  Plus you were born with a hole in your heart, for which you required risky surgery when you were only 6 months old.  So from day one, you had a lot to deal with.  But you got through it, and we knew you were tough and special.  Our little miracle baby.

As a toddler and a little kid, you showed yourself to be creative and artistic.  You loved fashion and drawing and color.  I remember one Thanksgiving in Washington, when you were about 5 or so, we were going out to go to a museum.  And you insisted on wearing a dress and multiple necklaces and a hat and fashionable sunglasses and a handbag.  One of the museum guards took a look at you and said, "little lady, you're about the best thing I've seen all day." 

You are the middle child, which comes with its own struggles.  You have a sister 5 years older, who was the first grandchild and therefore beheld by all as a superstar from the day she was born.  You have a sister 5 years younger, who is smart and loud and hilarious and a bit larger-than-life, personality-wise.  You are reserved and more of a gentle soul than either of them, and I sense that sometimes you feel a bit squeezed out.  But I want you to know that you are a shining star in my sky.

Because you have your own quiet strength that shines through.  When Emma had her accident 2 1/2 years ago, it must have been horribly scary and awful for you, not only because your sister had been hurt so badly, but because it meant such total upheaval in your life -- seeing your sister hooked up to tubes and machines in the hospital, being taken care of by different people while your parents dealt with the trauma, and still having to go to school and try to have some semblance of a normal life while it was all going on.  You were a rock at a time when no 7 year old girl should have to be a rock.

In the past few years, I feel like we have had the privilege of really seeing you blossom as a person.  You are still artistic and creative, but you're also a terrific athlete.  Your Uncle J adores you, and particularly adores seeing how great you are on a surfboard.  You're a great lacrosse player, which is so, so cool.

And you are such a mensch.  Whenever the family is together, you are so sweet and patient with the little kids, playing with them and looking after them and entertaining them.  Every year when we come home from Thanksgiving, Zeke and Josie are constantly asking me -- for weeks -- "when is Lydia going to come and visit?  When are we going to go to Josh's house so we can see Lydia?" 

Thanksgiving is next week, so we will be seeing you soon.  We are very thankful for that, because you are the best 10-year-old girl in the whole world.

All my love,

Auntie Wendy


  1. She is so lucky to have an Auntie like you!

  2. Kristin Duncombe1:48 AM

    A loving (and cool) aunt is a gift from God for any girl. Beautiful post xx

  3. She's a wonderful kid, so I thought it would be nice for her to have something written just for her, to let her know how much we care about her.