Letter to my nephew
, edited:

Letter to my nephew

I originally wrote the following letter to my nephew Farae on his first birthday.

Dear Farae: 
Today was a special day in your life and you were too young to be aware of it. You arrived brand new into this world, a day that filled my heart with happiness and eyes with the dreams of seeing you developing into a funny, interesting, rational and wonderful person. You’re coming into my life has been one of the things that made me most cheerful and content, ever. So bear the following points that I want to say to you while taking advantage of my own experiences.

You are supposed to read this letter when you reach your 16th birthday, a time when you are in the middle of your teen years. Why is 16 more special than 15 or 17 — I don’t know. Maybe because you will soon be getting your driving permit, giving you the first real ticket to independence. Maybe because perhaps it is the best time to stop and assess — look back to where you have come from, to see who you were and who you are — before plunging forward into adulthood, with all of its challenges and responsibilities. It is a time when your parents can still try to protect the child in you since you are still permitted to act like a child, but you can safely assert your independence – parents still love their most obnoxious teenagers. Trust me on this.

At 16, you are an astounding and confusing mix of willingness to try new things and fear of failing at the everyday parts of life. That will change with maturity as you see yourself succeeding and learn to trust yourself. You will make mistakes, fail at things, hurt yourself in a multitude of ways, everyone does, but the power to achieve is in every fiber of your being and the will to get what you want will push you past the fear of rejection and failure. You must be willing to take risks – the pain of failing passes quicker than the regret of not trying. And for that, you must have a wonderful quality of independence that will let other people value and respect you.

There would have been many minutes, hours, days, when you thought that nobody understands you. And the whole world is a load of crap. But that is to be expected. What really matters is that your emotions are always “up front”, both the good and the bad. Because they define who you are, and that is what your parents and everybody else who love you deserve. Let me tell you that I believe in 18 till I die, and nothing will give me more pleasure than to be a friend of yours rather than just being a boring uncle. Your secrets will be safe with me. Guaranteed. 😉

So today is special, and you are special. Not just because you are my most beloved nephew, but because I am sure that you have turned into a unique individual, one that I will respect and enjoy being with. It will give me a great pleasure to know that you love music and reading. That you don’t judge people on the basis of their religion, race or ethnicity, but define them on the basis of who they are. And you have taste, lots of it. And you are tenacious when you want something and you use words so well. And as a young man you have figured out how to talk to people — almost instinctive in your “people skills”. Trust me, all this will give you so very much pleasure and offer you most exciting ways to explore – everything. They will teach you how to question everything, and then get to the answers. All these qualities are sometimes covered over by anger and shouting and frustration and impulse, but as you mature you will get more control and channel those intense emotions more productively. This is a natural process too, just like thinking your parents are godlike, then morons, then boring, then wise :).

So take this day and reflect and then go forward. Make this a better place for yourself and those who love you. And I always will. 

Your friend,


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