My only niece is in New Zealand right now as part of an educational exchange program, and my mother just forwarded her first email. All the little things about it scream that she’s family. There are the 3-1/2 memory cards she’s already filled with pictures (“and one of those is a 2 gig”). There’s the mention–without explanation–that her favorite part of her stop in Fiji appears to have been falling in the mud.
But it’s the email itself that just about has me tearing up. Sure, the only capital letters are the ones in her name and the two words in all caps. Sure, the whole thing is punctuated with exclamation points, and there’s not an apostrophe to be seen. But the girl is articulate! This fifteen-year-old who usually communicates in shrugs gives us the highlights of her trip to date, lists the cultural differences she’s noticed so far, and tells us how homesickness is competing with having the time of her life, all in fewer words than I’m using in this post.
I always knew she was a great kid (even when she was kind of bratty). I just never knew she could write. [sniff] I’m so proud.