To My Baby Cousin,
The day you were born, I was on an overnight all school trip. I was sharing a two bed room with three other girls, and was sleeping on the floor on top of some blankets. I had a cold, my nose was completely stuffed up, and I'd forgotten my water bottle at home so I was very thirsty. Even so, that night remains one of my favorites of my entire life. When your older brothers were born, I didn't know my England family very well. But a couple months before you were born, I'd visited England for a couple weeks. I went to Scotland with my aunt (your mom), and we talked about what your name might be. I remember thinking that you were going to be the closest thing I'd have to a baby sister.
I have a cousin much closer in age to me (and, actually, it's her birthday today), and I always thought of her as my sister. Even so, as I grew up I always wanted a baby sister. Someone I could impart my accumulated wisdom to. Someone I could be immensely proud of as I watched them grow up. Someone who could be the flower girl at my future wedding. So when I found out my aunt was pregnant with a girl, I was ecstatic. I love your older brothers with all my heart, but the idea of having another girl in the family was very exciting.
But back to the day you were born: I had been tossing and turning for a couple hours before I heard my phone chime- signaling that I had a message on Facebook. At this point, I knew two things: You were due very, very soon and Facebook was my only form of communication with the England family (at that point). So, I rolled over and checked my phone. It was a message from our Nana, saying that my aunt (your mom) had gone into labor. It was very early California time, and I'd signed up to help make breakfast for the whole high school the next morning. Still, I stayed up until you were born. Our Nana gave me updates periodically, and I was one of the very first people to know your name.
Last March, I got to meet you for the first time. For a two year old, you were quite sarcastic, with a definite flair for the dramatic. I was very proud. I went to your Sabbath School with you. We read stories, danced in chapel rooms of a college dorm, and blew bubbles. You made me laugh and smile, and since I came home I've missed you very much.
This is all to say that you are one of my favorite people. You have been there for some of my favorite memories, you make me laugh, and you really are the closest thing I have to a baby sister. Plus, I have another person to talk to about Jane Austen when you get a little older. I know, I'm pretty far away right now. And I know, you'll probably never read this. But even so, I hope you know how much I love you and how much I miss you. But, if all goes according to plan, I'll be real close in about a year. Either way, I'll see you soon.