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Letter to my niece on her seventh birthday


Letter I sent--in addition to a card--to my niece. I also sent her a story called "What the Mouse Knew."


It is your uncle Colin though of course you just call me Colin which is better I think because if you said “Hi uncle Colin” I’d have to respond “Hi niece Lilah” and that might sound strange.

This is super late for your birthday but I wanted to write you something. Plus, I think it’s always nice to get something after one’s birthday and it can be a good reminder.

You have your regular birthday, but every day when we wake up is a kind of birthday because something can be better than it was yesterday and it’s another chance to get better at something, too.

I remember being seven like you are now and asking your Grandpa Larry when it would be that year again. He said, “Never. It’s only each year once.”

And I thought, wow. That makes each year—each and every year—really important. I still think about that.

I hope you liked the book I got you. We will have to have a talk later on about who your favorite character is. I have a hard time deciding!

I like Badger, because he’s wise and helps his friends. I like Mole, because he has a good heart and always does the right thing. I like Rat because he loves art and he loves his riverbank and I have a place I love like that. Then there’s Toad. He gets in some trouble and sometimes he goes too far, but he’s funny and full of life.

I am sorry we haven’t spent hardly any time together. Sometimes life goes ways that gets in the ways of other things. But that can also change and I know that we will be able to do many things and have a lot of fun.

Your Grammie tells me so, so, so much about you. I think that we have a lot in common. I was so impressed with your reading! You’re an awesome reader!

I saw a video of you once and it was some kind of parade. You were going past your sister and you made sure you got her attention so you could say hi and I could tell how much you care about her.

Well, I just wanted to write you a real letter and tell you that I love you very much and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you. Now and later and a lot later. And for Amelia and Charlie, too.

As Mr. Toad says: Forever a toad! Just like you will forever be special to me.

Love, Colin

P.S. There is also a story in this envelope. It’s about a mouse and a cat but it's really about people. You’re the very first first person I have shared it with. I think you might like it. You can read it with your mom, your Grammie, or just yourself!

And here she is with the story! She really is only person I've shared it with. (I also want to go back over it and make sure it's done; it will be in The Solution to the World's Problems: Surprising Tales of Relentless Joy.) That will change in the next few days, but I wanted her to be able to say later on that she was the very first person in the world to read that story.


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