Dixie Peach: Getting to Know Her

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Getting to Know Her

There's a real disadvantage to living thousands and thousands of miles from my family. I miss them a lot but something else that bothers me is that it's kept me from being near my nephews and neice - especially my neice.

Claire's twelve years old and I've only seen her once. She was about two then and she hardly knew me from a door. I doubt she even noticed me. And it's sad because she's the only little neice I have.

I decided though to remedy that and last week I wrote her a little letter and sent her a bracelet. Bribes are always good when working with kids - at least my experience has always proved that to be true. I didn't want to sound like some old naggy aunt and I didn't want to sound like I was pressuring her so I just wrote a little about myself and invited her to write me back.

Claire's at that age where I felt my most awkward. I felt like no one could relate to me and I stayed to myself an awful lot. I don't expect her to pour out her life's secrets to me but what if she did? What if she felt like she could trust me or relate to be because we're both the youngest of four kids. What if she felt like I was worth getting to know?

Actually I'd be thrilled. I don't expect it but if I got a positive response I'd be very thrilled. I feel like distance and her stupid mother have worked to keep us apart and that's just wrong. Maybe I should have tried to get to know her sooner but without me there - without her having a physical memory of me - I doubt it would have worked. I would still be that aunt in the abstract. But now she's old enough to handle writing letters that consist of more than "How are you? I am fine.". Now she can maybe begin to relate to me as a person. Maybe, just maybe, I don't have to be just a name to her that her grandmother or her dad mentions.


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