Monday, July 14, 2014


Dear Jules,
This summer, when we were planning our two weeks of vacation, we decided (after Nagyi  unfortunately couldn't come), that it would be great to spend some quality time with your Godparents.  Because you're an only child, and because we wanted you to have all of the spiritual support in the world, we decided that you would have four Godparents.  This vacation, you were able to see all of them except for one, which was such a treat (Greg, we missed you!).
We spent our first week of vacation in Asheville, North Carolina, with your aunt Cindy.  Cindy is one of my oldest friends: I've known her since we did our MA together at Boston College, and we lived in Worcester, Massachusetts together for what was a difficult year for both of us.  Like all difficult times, this one brought us together.  Even though she lives in New Jersey and we live in South Carolina, I'm so glad we've been able to keep in touch, to be there for each other through jobs, breakups, moves, and the everyday travails of life.  In fact, Cindy was my maid of honor when I married your Daddy.
Cindy is honestly one of the most unique people I've ever met, and one of the best.  I appreciate that she savors life and makes everyone laugh while simultaneously not being afraid to be vulnerable and let her feelings show.  I can't imagine anyone not loving her, and she loves you so very much, too!  In a typical Cindy moment (although me and Daddy decided on this one), you both got temporary tattoos, which Cindy thoroughly enjoyed.  Not only did she go along with this, but she played it up and showed it off every chance she got:
In this picture, you had a skull with a little hairbow and she had a heart with a flame (I think).  You decided pretty early on that you absolutely love Cindy and cried whenever she went away; you don't even do this for us, your parents!  We had so much fun; we went to some waterfalls, we went to downtown Asheville and played in the splash park, and we drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

We then went to Seabrook Island for a few days, and she went with you to the beach, which you loved.
You were pretty upset when she had to leave, but I know we will see her next year.  She truly is family to us, and I hope that, as you read this, she is still family for you.

Thankfully, when Cindy left, you only had a few days alone with your parents before your next set of Godparents, Eliza and Mark, came, with your Godsister, Bertie.  Now, they are smarter than I and don't want their pictures online, so I'll just leave you with these words and pictures of you.  I met Eliza when I was a prospective Ph.D. student, at a bar.  She was so simultaneously easy to talk with and really classy: one of those people you just respect and want to emulate.  When I decided to go to UNC Chapel Hill, we became close friends pretty quickly.  She was there for me as I transitioned to being a graduate student, and we also spent a lot of time together after she and Mark lost their first child.  
That was a horrible time, and I admire how strong they both have been in persevering past that and maintaining their relationship.  They thankfully had a healthy little girl, Beatrice, who really is like a sister to you.  You also follow her Cindy, you know and love her.  
We began their visit with some oysters, which your father persisted in cooking until he figured them out--
and some chicken paprika, which we ate at about 10 p.m.  because we talked and enjoyed each other so much.  You and your sister slept in the same room, as you always do, and you really enjoyed having her nearby.  And then, of course, you got to go to the beach together:

I love that last picture, becuase it reallly represents your relationship so well (oh, by the way, we also got some temporary tattoos.  Yours was smaller this time, and we even persuaded your elegant Godmother to get one).  You can see it there on your sweet little arm, which I just want to reach out and kiss.
I just came back from a conference, and you were with Grammy and Papa for a week.  I know you all enjoyed each other, but I missed you so much it hurt.  Always remember how much I- and your wonderful Godparents, and your grandparents, and everyone around you- loves you.

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