Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How to "use your head" at family gatherings

All of the cousins (except Tracy!) and their spouses 

You and your second cousin, Luca

You and Aunt Andrea, who leaned over so that she wouldn't make Daddy look so short

You and a tasty, tasty plastic ring

You, practicing the Vulcan Mind Meld
Dear Ellie,

This past week was full of excitement.  Your Aunt Andrea came by with Uncle Shane and they got to meet you before they ship out to Italy.  At first, you weren't being terribly polite (as is typical of young babies with people they've never met) and we were all making excuses for you as to why you weren't flashing your father's twin sister a proper welcome smile.  Since you are only a 3 month adjusted baby, I think you probably still have a lot of baby concerns on your mind, in which case, I can see why you might have felt some spite for my sister.  After all, while Andrea and I were in utero together, she wasn't very nice to me and I can only expect that you'd take my side on these matters.  Perhaps you resented her for having repeatedly kicked me in the head while the two of us were both in utero.  Or for hogging the placenta.  Or for having taken up all of the best womb real estate and, later, lap real estate.    

Eventually, you let bygones be bygones and gave Aunt Andrea the smiles to which she was entitled, perhaps because you realized that those extra 6 inches of height Andrea has on me made you realize that those genes might somehow make it in your direction, too.  

In addition to your Aunt's visit, we also had a mini family reunion here at the Smith House.  Your Great Aunt Karen and my cousins Tracy and Dominique came by, along with your second cousins, Clay and Luca.  Luca's due date was only a few weeks later than yours so the two of you are following a similar trajectory.  We're hoping to rope Luca into lots of play dates in the future.  On the surface, we want you to have a playmate your own age, but underneath it all, I have ulterior motives.  You see, when Dominique and I were really little, we had somewhat of an intense rivalry.  I even referred to her, in fearful hushed whispers, as Demonic Dominique.  To my own eternal shame, because I was shy and Dominique was strong willed, my younger, female cousin usually had the upper hand in the bullying department.  And let me tell you, it wasn't much fun having all of the women in my life capable of (or in Dominique's case succeeding in) beating me up.  Unfortunately, my cousin eventually grew into a wise, kind, and well adjusted adult over the years so it wouldn't be mature of me to exact revenge on her.  That ship has sailed.  However, an elephant never forgets.  Neither should my Ellie-phant.  That's where you and Luca come in.

With a few decades to stew on the injustices, I've come up with all kinds of useful mischief I can teach you.  Like how to fabricate misdeeds and blame it on your second cousin.  Or how to flatten him with a withering scowl and then, on a dime, turn around and charm adults with a twinkling smile.  And of course, how to "use your head" to advantageous ends... that is to say, if he gets on your nerves, your head is big enough that you should be able to smite him with a headbutt.  You only have to do it once.  The fear of a repeat should keep him in line.  Yes, I had a Demonic Dominique, but Luca will have his own "Evil Ellie."

As you grow into a child, you might find my recommended measures a bit cruel and mean spirited, but if you ever think such things, just remember that he's family.  No matter what family does to each other we will always love one another.  


  1. Dana, why I don't get your blog feed at all :(

    Ellie looks so adorable and I was so happy to see her progress.

  2. In my blog roll, if people update their blog, I could see it. But, I am not getting your blog's feed. I think this is how I should say it. I don't have any much knowledge too :)

  3. Got it now :) What did you do ?

  4. Whoops, missed your last message, Manju. Not sure what I did :-)

  5. Oh wait, I know why. I think your blogroll has the wrong domain. Try this: http://letterstoelliesmith.blogspot.com/

    1. You mean there is a way to get your blog to show up without hunting for it each time? Is it easy to explain? lol, so NOT techy!

      Love, love, love the Ellie updates! She is just as adorable as can be. And your writing makes one feel we are right there.