Dear Alexis,

I’ve been waiting a long time to be your aunt. The moment you came into this world, you were intrinsically loved by by so many people. Lucky for you, you’ve become the newest addition to a pretty cool family. I wish I could have been there the day you were born, but I FaceTime’d with you from New York just moments after. I finally met you when you were almost three weeks old. Your mom surprised me at the airport with you. I swear I felt my heart jumping out of my chest when I saw you through the glass. I could see in her eyes, that you being here alive and healthy was all she needed to be happy.

I wanted to stop time the day I had to go back to New York.  Your mom brought you over to say goodbye. I had been saving a song for you and finally played it that day right before I left.  It’s called Never Grow Up. Google it. Your mom and I sat on my bed, watching you, this new, tiny, six-pound person, sleeping so peacefully.  The song fit perfectly. I will always have this clear snapshot in my head of that moment. New mom, new baby, fear, excitement, anticipation, so much love.  By then end of the song, your mom and I both had tears streaming down our faces.

As I flew home, I started a list of all the things we will do together. We will read books and make forts. Bake cookies, but mostly just eat the dough. We will wear our pajamas to the movie theaters and throw tea parties with your cousins and favorite teddy bears. And when you’re a teenager, I will spend hours driving around with you when you’re upset. No talking, just screaming angry girl-power songs at the top of our lungs until you feel better. Your mom used to do that with me.

You’ve been given a very special mom, Alexis. I’ve never seen her love or care about anything the way she cares about you. When she was eight or nine she would carry me around on her hip, pretending to be my mom and I idolized her. She introduced me to ballet and Britney Spears, two things that I love to this day, and she always allowed her annoying little sister to tag along. She will love any gift you give her, just add glitter and I’ve never met a better keeper of secrets. Most importantly though, her love will always be unconditional. Period. I hope you get her open-minded heart, her tiny button nose and her endless kindness and generosity.

Your mom said that you’ll get this letter when you turn 18 (oh my god, that means I’m 42!). I have no idea who you are right now, while you’re reading this letter, but I do know that no matter what, you’re still intrinsically loved by all those people. I know that being 18 is not easy, but I will always be here to take you out for ice cream and sympathetically listen to you complain about your mom. And when you have questions, please know that you can ask me anything, anytime, and I promise to never judge you. The world is an amazing place, and I can’t wait to watch you explore it and figure out who you are. I love you Bubbles.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures I’ve taken of you so far!

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Ok, I didn’t take this one, but this was the moment I first met you at the airport

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You were so small, you even fit in your stocking! You were only about 6 or 7 lbs. at one month.

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You were so cooperative at this age!

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Nana was shocked to find you!

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Christmas day 2013. You were our newest little Christmas Angel.

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We had a photo shoot one day when I was watching you.

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I loved putting you in tutus!

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So beautiful.

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You were all dressed up for your mom’s birthday.

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You came to San Francisco and stayed with me and Marnie for a weekend. We had so much fun playing house with you. We even took you to Whole Foods and pretended like you were our baby.

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This was you yesterday, on your first birthday. Your brother was stealing some of your cake!

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We love you so much, Lexi, and we always will.

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