Be your maverick self

Dear Ellie,

Happy Second Birthday! I hope you are enjoying life so far. It’s pretty awesome. I mean there’s ice cream and marshmallows. There are trips to the zoo and fantastic new shoes. I know life can get difficult at times. It’s tiring to bring all your toys out at once and frustrating when mom and dad just don’t understand the brilliance of coloring on the floor and/or walls. Let me share this bit of wisdom with you — those issues don’t go away when you get older. They’re just replaced with more “adult sounding” problems. But trust me, most of the time we’re just throwing our own 2-year-old tantrum ourselves. The sad part comes when we’re older and we forget we have the chance, at any moment, to revert back to our joyful, bubbly, playful selves. If I could have one magical wish for you it would be that you always retain the ability you have right now — to find your place of giggles and smiles and creativity regardless of the crap that went down two minutes earlier.


As you are 2 years old, you are discovering how to get along in the world. Because of this self-directed discovery, you do things which, quite frankly, crack us up. I mean anyone can eat jello with a spoon. It takes vision and skill to eat it with a toothpick. Anyone can do things the easy way. But you’re a maverick. You do things your own way.

As your aunt and godmother I feel it is my job to share what I’ve learned in my years, things your parents may or may not teach you. Like how to judge just how many Oreos you can eat before you get sick and why “Dirty Dancing” is the greatest movie ever made. But if there is one thing I hope I can model for you it’s this: Always be a maverick.

See, being a maverick means listening to what is best for you. Some call it intuition. Other’s listening to that little voice in your head. Still others call it listening to your heart. Or your gut. It all boils down to one thing — doing what feels right for you regardless of what other people, even those who love you most, might say.

This is a lesson it took your Aunt Mo a very long time to learn. And while you need to learn it in your own way, in your time, in order for it to be authentic and true for you, if I can help make that process a bit easier and quicker, I will. Learn from my mistakes and you can avoid things like being suckered into doing other people’s work for them or dating a Yankee fan.

Of course being a maverick will annoy other people. But what they think of you is their problem, not yours. Those who love you will come around eventually, especially when they see your unique and winding path has you pretty darn happy most of the time. I can’t promise you much dear E-Mo, but I can promise this: I will always have your back. So go on with your maverick self. Nothing is going to happen to you that you can’t handle. Not on my watch.


Aunt Mo


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