A Letter to my Teenage Cousins

Dear Odessa, Karlie, and Morgan,


Let me begin what will certainly be a long winded message by saying that I love you. I have loved you since before you were born. Since your mothers wobbled around family events and asked us for input on baby names. Since baby showers, and false alarms, and phone calls from Grandma Rose that each of you had finally entered the world. I have loved you all since I learned about you. You have always been a bright purple thread interwoven in the fabric of my life.


I know I am not an easily accessible or a readily available part of your life anymore. Work, relationships, commitments, etc., own all of my time. I regret that. I wish I had more time to just spend in your presence. The rare times that we do get together, I truly cherish. You all are everything and nothing like me. Odessa, you have the most compassionate spirit… ever. I watch the way you naturally gravitate toward nurturing our beloved Grandmother and the youngest ones in our family. I wish I were more like you. Karlie, your creativity and confidence are unrivaled. I hope you never lose that about you. Morgan, you remind me so much of my brother, who is by far my favorite person on this planet. Level-headed. Responsible. Honest. Calculated. Everything I wish I were better at.


As you guys get older, and I get older, and stuff changes and flourishes… there are a few things I want you to know.


  • I will keep all of your secrets.

“Your age” was not that long ago for me. Believe it or not. I remember having a lot of stuff that I couldn’t talk to anyone about. I never want you to feel that way. So whatever it is, holler atchya girl. I guarantee I probably did it, thought about doing it, have a friend that did it, or wrote a story about getting it done.


  • I will always be on your side.

Even if you’re wrong.


  • You will always have a voice, when it comes to me.

I will hear you out. I promise.


  • You can call me, about anything, ever.

I will pick you up from whatever party. I will bail you out of whatever situation. I will listen to you cry. I will let you cuss me out. Whatever.


  • This bond we have will never break.




I love you. The more I write, the more I realize that I have no idea when I told you that last. I hope you know it. I hope you feel it. I cannot wait to sit back and watch you become the world-changing, self-assured, educated, loving souls that I have always loved.


Text your cousin sometimes,

xo Kelsea



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