07 May, 2012

A letter to my niece.

A few weeks back, my Sister-In-Law, asked TF and myself, if we could write a letter to our soon-to-be 14 year old niece.  She was busy creating a book, that contained letters from the special people in her life...

And seen as thought today is her 14th birthday, I thought I would post my message, to my sweet niece...
Dear Danielle,
When your Mom asked us to write you a letter for your 14th birthday...I thought 'o koek'...what words of wisdom can I pass on to you...that might not damage you for life :-)
But then I thought, what would I tell myself at 14...if I look back, what would I have liked to have known. So here goes Danielle...at the age of 37...this is what I know for sure...
- I remember always wanting to be older than I was. I wanted to drive, to go to places, to do things...but here's the thing...you'll have plenty of time to do all this. As you get older, life goes by quicker and quicker...slow down, don't wish away your years.
- Listen to your folks...they might seem completely unreasonable at times...but they love you and just want what's best for you...even if it doesn't seem like it at the time.
- Make as many friends as you can at school...speak and make time for everyone. Over the past few years, I have gotten to know some kids from school, that I never spoke to at school, and I realised I missed out on some great friendships.
- Be honest, no matter how hard it is.
- Dont worry about the 'cool kids'...the minute you leave school, that all disappears. 
- Meet a boy that treats his Mom right, and wears good shoes. Those are the first clues :-)
- When you do meet a boy, don't forget your girlfriends...they will be around a lot longer than him.
- There are plenty of fish in the sea...trust me on this....so don't settle for less than you deserve.
Your Mom and Dad are now totally hyperventilating about me giving you advice on boys :-)
- Travel...go to new places. My Dad taught us to see our own country first, and fall in love with it. PS. That includes South Africa by the way...that's African blood you have running through your veins ;-)
- Try new things, taste new things...even if it's just once.
- No matter how old we get...you will always have coolest Uncle and Aunty...right? Right.
- Nothing is ever as bad as it seems...there is always another option, there is always someone who will help, there is always a way out.
- Family is the most important thing...hang on to them..always.
- The Springboks will always be more awesome than the All Blacks :-)
- Study first, worry about work and stuff later. Get it done...and do something you love.
- Be yourself...don't try and pretend, don't try and fit in...you're perfect as you are.
There's an old African proverb, that we use a lot over here, that goes 'It takes a village to raise a child'...Danielle, what I so need you to know, is that even though we might be on the other side of the world...your Uncle and I are so part of your 'village'. No matter how small, no matter what you ever need...we are here for you...we have your back no matter what.
Always remember, that you are so very, very loved.
Happy, Happy Birthday sweet girl...

My sister-in-law, sent me some pics of the book she made, which my niece apparently adores...
Such a special gift Monya...


Tanya said...

What an awesome letter! I wish I had this when I was 14 (and every other age, in fact :-) ) Beautifully written!

Hayley said...

Thanks Tanya xxx

Ordinarylife said...

What a stunning idea for a birthday gift! And an awesome letter from her aunt.

Danielle said...

I love you Hayley!!! Thank you so much! I'm so excited I have a bolg post dedecated to me!! Miss you so so so so so so much!!!!! Can't wait to see you again!