My niece was born 4 years ago today. She’s one the sweetest most vibrant little girls this world has to offer. I wrote this piece when she was born and it still applies.
Harper Rose Hall
Born September 6, 2011
Our little southern belle born on the west coast. I cannot fight the urge to burst into either Katy Perry’s and/or The Beach Boys’ California Girls upon looking at those big blue eyes. Sweet Baby Harper- you’re sure to be a heart breaker.
I hope you one day realize that you have the best of both coasts, and I hope you can learn to appreciate both equally- no matter which side of the country you end up living on. I want you to know the story of how you came to be a California babe. I want you to one day know how big of a risk your parents took; packing all of their belongs, selling half of their belongings and uprooting their entire lives- despite the critiques of many friends and family. I want you to know how proud of them you should be. I want you to realize what great people they both are.
I hope that you say ya’ll and I really hope you learn how to appreciate fried green tomatoes. I hope you one day experience a summer in Georgia- the sweet smell of honeysuckles and the sticky-sweaty feeling on your skin as a result of never escaping the ungodly humidity of the south. I hope you hate it, but learn to love it at the same time. I hope you get to enjoy sweet tea (not this nonsense of “iced” tea) in a mason jar while lounging in a rocking chair on a great big porch laughing with some of the south’s finest. I hope you catch fireflies. I hope you have a garden one day and make homemade pickles while wearing an apron that your great grandmother made herself. I hope you find farm animals fascinating and never ever turn down an opportunity to camp under the stars, even if it’s pouring down raining.
I hope you appreciate how great California can be. I hope you figure out that you can love both sides of the country just as much but in so many different ways. I hope you meet some cute California boy and realize there is nothing quite like them. I hope you get the chance to experience the differences among east coast beaches and west coast beaches because not everyone has that opportunity and it’s pretty spectacular. I hope you learn that some of the best burritos come from a truck on the side of the street in LA and not taco bell.
I hope you get to live in one place for a long time- rooting yourself in a somewhere you can call home, a place you feel safe in. But I also hope you get the chance to leave that place. I hope you get to miss that place. I hope you get to feel that painful pull of your heart because your family and best friends are states and states away. But I hope you can accept that sadness and feel grateful you have such amazing people in your life, scattered in various places- simply a phone call away despite any time zone. I hope that whenever you decide to move across the country, you can do that. No matter what everyone else might say. I hope you get to experience driving thousands of miles in search for whatever you are seeking. Although, I hope you find whatever it is you choose to seek, I hope it’s not easy and I hope you doubt yourself at times, many times- because that’s the only way you’ll really figure out what you’re truly striving to discover.
I hope you and Henry are close. I hope you love each other fiercely and I hope you fight just as fiercely. I hope he gives you a hard time about the boys you bring around. I hope you annoy him when he brings girls over. I hope he pushes you down in the snow and pelts snowballs at you as your face turns scarlet red from crying so much. I hope Henry burns your Barbie Doll’s hair and then I hope that he bribes you with candy so you won’t tell your parents. I hope you take that bribe and learn to never ever snitch on your big brother- no matter what. I hope you love your brother half as much as I love mine.
Mostly, I hope you realize how much you are loved- all over this great big country.