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Aug 19, 2011 by

Dear Baby A and Henry, (Baby A to be named later)

Hi it’s your Uncle Matt, I am the tall, lanky, quiet family member with the big nose.  Hope you guys enjoyed your eight and some change months.  I saw the ultra sound pictures and still not sure how you both managed any comfort in those tight confines.  Henry, did you at least say excuse me when your butt was in your sisters face all this time?  Anyway, glad you arrived safely and healthy, just wanted to officially welcome you both to this world.

I am the uncle always ready to share some advice or thoughts, especially to infants or toddlers who can’t counter any of my opinions.  I will have much more to tell you but let’s wait till you are at least 14 years old, so we can conduct our talks over a few beers.   Until then let me give you a quick rundown about the family you entered.

Your mother and father will no doubt raise you well.  They will be nurturing but tough.  They will make you laugh and then make you cry.  They will be absolutely clueless about things and experts on other things.  They will educate you and you will educate them.  They will read books on how to deal with you and you will read nothing on how to deal with them.  They will not understand you and you will not understand them.  They will sing your praise and then curse you.  They will never be perfect and nor will you.  They will rejoice with you in your accomplishments and you can lean on them in your failures.   They will love you  and then despise you.  They will always have your back.  That is family.

If you need something that your parents will typically deny you, turn to the grandparents.  They will all turn to mush as you gaze and smile up towards them and will no doubt happily satisfy your demands.

Believe it or not, your first boss, will come sooner than expected.  I know what you are thinking, when I land a job, right?  Nope, actually it is my 3 year old daughter, your first cousin.  She has been expecting you both for some time and is ready to boss you around so much that it will make your heads spin.  For this I am sorry.

The Ankerson’s at times curse like sailors.  I am really just talking about myself, well, and your Aunt Caroline.  I will try my best to be on my best behavior but I can’t guarantee anything.  I learned to swear from your great grandfather Camelli when I turned five, family history is often cyclical.

Ok, and now on to the important stuff-sports and music.  You will both encounter many choices throughout life , however, some choices are already decided for you.  You are entering a family of lunatic sports fans.  You must cheer passionately for the team listed below, if you don’t feel this way, fake it.

Boston Red Sox
Boston Celtics
New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers (The latter will make Papa Ank proud!)
Boston Bruins
Regarding college football rooting interest, your choice is simple, you always cheer for the Auburn Tigers.  Please, by no means upset your mother and cheer for anyone else, especially Alabama.  You might experience some pressure from Grandpa Ingram, but stay strong with your conviction.

As far as college basketball goes, this is wide open but remember your father hates Duke. (Which would still not change his mind even if either of you attended college there.)

Your mother and father have horrible taste in music.  I apologize but they are both lost causes.  Let me be the one to take you to your first concert.  Listen to what moves you.  Open those ears and expose yourself to many genres.  It makes  listening all that more enjoyable, and there will be no other art form that will be more meaningful to you.

I am no expert on life so don’t waste your question about what it all means on me.  The little I do know should help you along the way.

Be courteous and polite
Be humble
Have an open mind
Be different
Speak your mind
Laugh

And lastly,

Turn the music up loud and dance your little hearts away on the kitchen floor.

You are entering this world at an interesting time in history.  Life will pummel you at times, get up dust yourself off and keep moving on.  Just remember typically bad times are eventually followed by good ones. It is just how it goes.  Make the most of your time on this planet and know that your family loves you.

Love,

Uncle Matt

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