In many Latino families when a girl turns 15, it is celebrated with a church service, blessing from the priest and a Quinceñera fiesta with family and friends. Not for us. I definitely attended my fair share but it’s just not a Latino tradition we have in our familia.
In fact, my niece turns 15 today and she’s about 500 miles away from us. I’ve wished her a happy birthday via Facebook with photos of her cousins (my sons) and when she returns, I hope to celebrate this milestone birthday with her.
On your 15th birthday I can’t help but think of the day you were born. I cried because I couldn’t be at the hospital that day. I was even mad at your mom because I wanted her to wait until I could get there! I couldn’t wait to see you, hold you and kiss you. And you were in that special bed with those little things over your eyes, you were so tiny. My niece. I fell in love with you.
I know God created you so perfectly to be this amazing person that would change all of our lives. Our only girl! And you still are. You became our princess. I loved on you, spoiled you, I couldn’t get enough of you. I loved every moment Mamo and Papo would visit us and they’d bring you. And after you all moved closer, I got to watch you grow up. That was an answered prayer for me. Even though at age three you promised me that you wouldn’t grow up.
Querida, our families are not perfect. The big joke in life that you will learn is: no one’s family is perfect. As you share your stories with people and they share their stories with you, you will understand that God gave you your life on purpose. And you wouldn’t want to switch places with anyone else.
One day … Far, far, far away … You will be blessed to experience being someone’s aunt. You will experience God’s love flowing from you to them. You will love that person inexplicably and unconditionally. You will want for them to always be safe, happy and feel loved. You will want ALL of their dreams to come true. You will want them to laugh with you like their best friend and share secrets like a sister. And you will want them to know without a shadow of a doubt, that they are whole, perfect and complete child of God just the way they are. That is exactly how I feel about you.
You are a real princess. God’s princess.
Don’t fear the things that are bigger than you.
Never settle for what’s easy.
Take chances. You won’t get to do it over again.
Fall in love as often as you can.
When your heart gets broken, don’t stay bitter.
Compromising yourself is not ever an option.
Have faith in God. His promises are real. Nothing you can do will change that.
I am honored to be in your life. I am honored to be your aunt. I am honored to be your sister-in-Christ.
Your favorite-est Aunt Mel
Photo credit: Flickr by Nieve44/Luz