I realize I’m the one that decided to move to Tokyo, but I’d like to request that you stop growing up until I get back. I mean, I realize that you probably want to keep walking and that talking would make your life a lot easier, but seriously, if you could just hit the pause button for the next 18-24 months I’d really appreciate it. And I know you don’t know me quite as well as your siblings, but I promise, we are going to be the best of friends and you will come to realize just how fun I am. I swear.
Please continue to be the sweet girl you are today. It’s so fun to see you with your little cousins and the kindness and love that I know they can feel from you. I’m so lucky to be your aunt!
Thank you for all that you do for me. I don’t know what I would do without you. Even from 6,000 miles and who-knows-how-many time zones away, you take good care of me. Thank you for running me around everywhere I needed to go and letting me ship things to your house and use your address as my “home” for all my USA needs. Thank you for staying up late with me (or letting me stay up late with you?) and for keeping your house stocked with all of my favorites and just being awesome. I know it sucks that we don’t have Mom around, but you do a pretty great job filling in.
Miss you lots and love you more,
Elizabeth (I’d rather go with that nickname than publicly disclose the other names you call me…on that note, thanks for always reminding me that I’m still your little sister.)
P.S. Tell your husband thank you, too. I know he sacrifices a lot when I’m in town and I really appreciate that, too.
Dear Mims and Pepperoni,
Thank you for still loving me as much as you do even though I moved to Tokyo. I love that you still want me to cuddle with you at night and that you still want to take baths in “Chlo-Chlo’s bath”. I love that you are so excited for me to get there that you start counting down the days weeks in advance. But more than anything, I just love you. There’s nothing quite as therapeutic as your laughter. I hope you both know just how much I love you even from so far away. I can’t wait to see you the next time I’m home (maybe in July…). Please don’t grow up too much while I’m gone. I hope you’re being good for your soccer coach these days. I’m sad I was there too early to see your games. I promise I won’t miss too many more seasons as long as you promise you’ll keep playing.
Thanks for ditching your friends to come to dinner with the fam. I know at your age that’s not always an easy decision, but it meant a lot to me.
Dear Elder Andersen,
We all missed you. It was weird not having you around. And it was a little hard to see how much all the kids were missing you (and your mom and dad, too), but we are all so proud of you and know you are exactly where you should be. I hope Texas is treating you well.
Your Favorite Aunt (and the one that writes you every week)
Thank you for being from AZ and wanting to return there. And thank you for being such a good mom to my darling nephew and nieces. And for always being there when I need you. And for taking me to get my very first pedicure. And for introducing me to “good” makeup.
Your Favorite Sister-in-Law (I won’t tell if you won’t tell)
Thank you for feeling like home. Thank you for all of the wonderful memories and friendships that you still hold. Thank you for the multiplicity of drive-thru Sonics, cheap pedicures, my favorite chain restaurants, and warm weather in February. Someday I will be back for good, but in the meantime, please keep treating me as well as you do. And please keep taking care of my family. I can’t wait to see you this summer.
A girl who must apologize for how ugly she thought you were the first time she visited her older brother and his new wife all those years ago
Dear Big Brother,
Thank you for deciding to follow your girlfriend to AZ all those years ago. So many good things have happened in my life as a result of that decision, not the least of which was getting an awesome new sister, but lots of other things, too. And thanks for always being willing to pick me up and drop me off at the airport (even though it means you have to stay up late and/or get up early to do so). Our drives from and to the airport are some of my favorite memories and conversations.
Your favorite sister (Just like I said to Justin…it’s okay, everyone knows it’s true.)
Dear MTC Companion,
Who’d have guessed all those years ago that you’d end up living two miles from my sister and brother? Thank you for being so accommodating whenever I’m in town and making time to see me. What a blessing it was to have met you. I’m so glad you ended up on your mission a little later than you had planned. My life wouldn’t be the same without you in it.
The non-crazy one from our companionship of three
P.S. Next time we’re together we need to take a picture…it’s been way too long!