So your 12…

Madison,

madi3

I wont go off on the “This has been a big, changing year for you” spill.
Your old enough to know what kind of year you’ve had, I don’t need to dramatize it for you.

I know, however, that this has been a year of change for you, and I only know that because its what you’ve told me.

It wasn’t something that was intentional, our time spent together, as you know, it was something that randomly happened one day when the boys were at different places, and you and I had 45 minutes of just “You and me”. When it was over, you admitted to me that you wished we could do it more often, and that’s what inspired the every other week or so, I take just you out. You say it makes you feel special, when I spent time with just you – and you are, special that is. Not only because you are a girl (the only one in the house!) but because you are my niece, and that makes you special.

Someone told me that these talks wont last forever, that once you reach your teens, or even before you reach them, that you will be embarrassed to be seen with me, that sooner or later, you wont want me to pick you up and drop you off. You wont want to have talks with me, and that one day you will embark on your own journey, and while I expect you to one day embark and step out there on your own, I think you will still keep in contact – if nothing else, to tell me how to do something. But for however long they last, I will enjoy spending time with you – just you.

We have had some pretty impressive talks, during these short times. Im not sure, it might just be that you are jacked up on sugar, but we have covered topics that go beyond everyday topics. Last week we discussed what it would be like if life were a TV show. What if we could pause life? Rewind, and fast forward. For a while we rolled around in the things we would redo, the things we would spend more time with, and what if….we could only pause one moment in life – what would it be? But at the end of the discussion, you ended by saying that you think there isn’t such thing because then you wouldn’t be who you were today. Wow. Those were powerful words.

You never stop amazing me with the ability you have to accept things as they come, and get up and continue on in life, without harboring hatred, or anger. Your parents have both died when you were just 8, you’ve been split up from your brother for a year, and you’ve been tossed around like a piece of garbage for a year of your life. Your friends have told other people your secrets, and your innocence and trust has been broken more than once, but you somehow find it in you to forgive, and continue to love – no matter what the price. You don’t get angry, and you don’t blame things on your past, your history, you told me a few weeks ago that you are GLAD these things have happened to you – because you wouldn’t have been who you are, or where you are, if they didn’t happen. Again. Wow.

Madison, you are a bright young lady, with an even brighter future ahead of you. If there is one thing I worry about you, its that someone will take advantage of you…and your innocence, your ability to love and forgive. But even then, when I worry about these things, something tells me that you are strong enough to over come them, and not be hurt.

You love your brother more than anyone I have ever known. This doesn’t mean you don’t get mad at him, you have your moments, because lets face it – living in a house where you are the only girl – I hear, is a difficult feat. But when night falls, I hear him climb in bed with you, and can hear you two giggle, and discuss things, and you always end with “…and I love you…” Hearing those words at night are enough to tell me that you’ve got a good head on your shoulders…and when I feel Ive failed you in more than one way, you always seem to pull through ok. Something tells me you were build strong so you could handle what life has thrown at you. I don’t know to many 12 year olds who have been through what you have, and come to their 12th birthday with a smile and love as much as you have.

You have more patience than anyone Ive ever met. You and Dylan were the first two people Josh took to…and you are the one he comes to with his new ideas, and bright inventions – because he knows you will ALWAYS stop what you are doing and pay him the attention he needs and deserves.

Madison, I cant begin to tell you how proud I am of you, and not just today, but even on the days when I get mad and yell at you. Even on the days when we argue, and but heads over things. When you argue with your brother, or slam your door – Madison, you arent perfect, but it doesn’t really matter, because you are YOU, and that’s what makes you special. I am proud of who you are becoming, and am proud to call you my niece,

I love you kiddo,

Happy 12th Birthday,

Your Uncle.

Madi and friends
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