LIttle Mango

Dearest Little Mango,

Do you remember when we used to call you "Kairi-Bai, Little Mango?" Yes,  your pet name as a baby was longer than your actual name. And your actual name is long. I am counting your middle names young lady! Don't get smart! Yes, I can feel you getting smart from 1500 miles away. Mad aunt skillz. That's what I have.

I am writing this letter to once again address the issue of your continued hard-hearted disobedience. I have demanded on numerous occasions that you age no more. Grow no more. And still you age and grow! It cuts me to my core. I see now that trying to hold you back from this is like trying to staple a wave to the shore. Not possible.

But seriously Jules! LOOK AT YOU:




This picture was after THE haircut. Let's not talk about that haircut. Now or ever.  It saddens your mother. 

That is a lampshade on your head. Jus' sayin'
How could I not want that kind of cuteness forever?

And oh! you have always been such a funny little person!

Here is what stands out to me from your early years:

1. An obsessive frustrating love of the movie Bug's Life.

2. An abnormal dislike for Winnie the Pooh and his cohorts.

3. Me teaching you to say, "I suspose" all mournfully when you were told to do something you didn't want to do.

4. The stage where you called your parents "Em" and "Hon" instead of mom and dad. Hey! That's what they called each other. I get it!

5. How hilariously funny you found peoples' physical pain to be. The word "Ow" sent you into hysterics especially if it was followed with pained facial expressions.

6. The time you broke your elbow and wound up in the hospital. And then when I brought you a Barbie as a feel better present you were all, "I wish YOU would break your elbow!" And I was all, "Hey! Not nice!" And you were all, "Dude! This place gives you POPSICLES! I am just looking out for you!"
Also please note that I am pretty sure that you only played with Barbies for like a month. I played with Barbies for oh.......a decade(and a half)?

7. The first time you met Timler, you drew a picture of him being eaten by a dinosaur. And you drew a Budweiser sign in the background. "Nice to meet you Tim! Your dead. Here's a beer. " That's my baby girl! Jessica loves to tell people that story by the way.

8. How much you have always loved music. And before you comprehended lyrics, you comprehended moods. So Ray of Light was the "crazy song." And some songs were sad. "Why is he sad?"You would ask. It's complicated Juli Bear. Very, very complicated.

9. You have always been a person of specifics. I don't know how to explain this fully. I can only give examples. Example 1: You knew that you needed to be buckled in when in the car. If the car engine was even turned on before you were buckled, you would instantly start screaming: I AM NOT BUCKLED! I AM NOT BUCKLED! Example 2: When you needed your sunglasses in the car,  you NEEDED your sunglasses. Or we would suffer the consequences.  Example 3: Your eating habits. Don't worry, I am not gonna go there. But you know. And I know. And anybody who knows you knows. Example 4: What music was played in the car. I have always liked the song, "Fall Like Rain" by Eric Clapton. Thanks to you, I have heard it a million times. Along with, "Hope of Deliverance" by Paul McCartney. You liked the happy sounding songs. So do I. It's all good.

10. Smarts. Such a smart kid! People always think their beloved babies are smart. You actually were (and are).

11. Miss Juli, our song is "Once Upon A December." That was my lullaby to you. And I sang to you pretty frequently (sorry about that). The last time I was home, I sang that song to Levi and I thought, "I think Levi and I need a different song. This is my Juli Bear song." It just doesn't belong to anyone but you and I.

I could go on and on and on and on with all that I do know. Truly. But what I have been thinking about lately is all that I don't know. In such a short time, you will be 16. SIXTEEN. Insert cliched joke about how I am not getting any older and so this makes no sense. I don't know teenage Juli almost at all. It's more than heartbreaking. I get so jealous when Rita talks about you. Rita knows and gets and loves teenage Juli. I don't.

This Juli is something of a mystery to me:
Loving Big Sister

Wildlife Center Volunteer

And all around beautiful, happy girl 



Generally when my people from back home come to visit, my goal is to introduce them to as many of my Tucson people as possible. If you came to visit, I think I would jealously keep you all to myself. Just you and I and a day at the Desert Museum. You and I exploring Mt. Lemmon. You and I hiking at Sabino Canyon. And maybe one day if I was feeling especially generous, I would introduce to the adorable Madison who daily laments her lack of cell phone and bemoans the unfairness of not getting one until she can drive (I am thinking you will relate). Or to the beyond sweet Alyssa who also has much younger siblings and loves and adores them as you do Levi, but can probably relate to feeling a little lost in the shuffle sometimes. And if you came in the summer, we could go swimming and I could pretend to drown and you could save me with all your new lifeguard skillz and then laugh hysterically at my pain.
Because some things never change.

Love
Aunt Megs