Dearest Nephew

image via Yuliya Cherkez

image via Yuliya Cherkez


To my Dearest Little Nephew in my sister’s belly,

Just a few months ago, I had actually titled this letter ” To my dearest niece or nephew in my sister’s belly”, I then went on at length about how I hoped you were a girl and wrote about all the reasons why. I thought it would be better to write you a new one since we know for sure that you are a boy now. I will let you read this when you’re old enough to read, just so you can see where our heart was, and my thoughts for you before you came into the world.

I hope you don’t feel sad that I had wanted you to be a girl, this has nothing to do with who you are now, and your gender has absolutely nothing to do with your worth. This is something that I hope you will grow up learning, something that the world is still learning, and something that too many get wrong. I suppose I wanted you to be someone that’s kind of like me, but I realized now that you don’t have to be of the same gender for that to happen. If it makes you feel any better, your uncle prayed that you would be a boy, and he has more intuition than either your mom or I had about this.

Since then, I have also changed my thoughts a little- I think I want you to be exactly who you are.  I am convinced that you will be the best of your parents, the best of me, yet nothing like any of us at all, which is by far one of the better things to be. Although, I did read something once that said, ” nieces and nephews get their coolness from their aunts”, and you will remember that this is true.

For a long time now we had thought long and hard about your name, your mother liked Nathan so that we can call you “Nate”, which sounds very fine and handsome, but your parents live in a place that’s very near a restaurant/mamak called Nathan’s corner, so that might not be the best idea. I personally like the name Elijah, so that we can call you Baby Eli, which is very endearing, but I think I will save that name in case I ever have a son.

Image via Efrain Mendoza

Image via Efrain Mendoza

At first, I thought the world should not have any more children, because I don’t think this world is such a great place to live in. Or at least, I didn’t see much hope in a future. There’s a whole load of sadness and pain that comes with being human that no one can ever shield us from, not even your parents.There will be bullies, people that make us feel awful for being ourselves no matter how old we get, there will be a never ending pressure to fit in, there’s a struggle later on in life to earn money, that will test your values and all these “fine lines” between survival and greed. Many people fail this test, but I have no such thoughts about you. You are favored to win ever since the beginning.

There is also this other thing you might come to realize with growing up, that there are evils that happen to innocent people, injustice and unfairness everywhere, but I hope that whoever you turn out to be, you will turn out to be someone that stands up against these things. Of course my ideas about having children also comes from the belief that having children is the scariest thing in the world (because of the pain, and how the worst case scenario is death), so you must know that your mother, and all mothers, are some of the bravest people in the world.

I need to tell you a few things, like how in the future, I will get you a puppy, to your grandpa’s dismay. Because I believe every little boy or girl should have a puppy at least once in his life, you will learn what it’s like to take care of someone that needs you, and to be wholly responsible for another living thing’s existence, a little  bit like what your parents are going through right now, and I think in that way you will have a little more in common with them, so that at times when you might get into fights with your parents, it might help you understand a little better. You also need to know that, sometimes I have to take their side on things, because there really are “rights” and “wrongs” in this world, but you must remember I’m always on your side. Always.

There’s also this other issue of “girls”. You might be too young for this, but sometime later in your life, if you ever need help or advice, I’ll be here to explain things that maybe you’re too shy to ask your mom or dad about. Things like “hormones” , or what to do with your feelings, but you don’t have to worry about this right now.

I want to introduce you to so many things, swimming, badminton, football, basketball, Taekwando but also art, and music and science. Taekwando or martial arts because defending yourself is something that you might need in the future. Sports because it will teach you how to work hard, how to be a team player, how to find your match in others and how to lose with grace. It also teaches you humility in winning, and what achievements feel like. It will cause you to get dirty and sweat, how to play, scream and shout, and these things are important.

I hope you will also come to love the arts, because it’s one of those things that give life it’s meaning. I really hope you will pick up an instrument. Learning to play music and how to listen to it, is one of the most fulfilling parts of  life that will also teach you hard work, patience, determination, and an appreciation for beauty that keeps you sensitive, and your heart strong.  There is a certain joy that comes only from creating and being inspired. People are saying this is something you have within you ever since you were three years old, and I hope no matter how many birthdays you have, that you will keep on staying three inside.

In the future, I don’t know what you will grow up to be- a doctor, policeman, an astronaut or a nurse, but I hope that whatever your occupation is, it will never be as important as the kind of character you have. I hope you will open doors for ladies- your mother, grandmother, aunt, friends, and carry their bags and heavy items; not because they can’t do it. They can, but it just shows your character. Because you are a man that loves people and you choose to honor them that way. You are a man that will do things for the weakest members in society, those that can do nothing in return for you. You’ll do it, just because it’s the right thing to do. I also hope you fill your head with good books, but don’t worry, for this you can go to my library. Also, stay away from playing  too much video games. You can play a little, it’s just addiction is a bad thing, ask your uncle.

Your grandparents are the best people in the world, they made your mother, they also made me and your uncle, and you will love them. They are so excited that you’re arriving soon and I foresee that they are going to spoil you silly. Come soon, can’t wait to see you.

P.S. Currently your mother looks like she swallowed a watermelon.


Much love,

your aunt.


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