to katie: about texting

Hey Katie – now that you have a phone (congrats again!), here are some things about texting that might be handy to know.

People tend to use different forms of communication for different purposes, and every form of communication ends up being a little bit different.

Texting tends to be a form of communication that people use to tell each other short bursts of information, but it’s not necessarily urgent that you get a response right away.

WHY DON’T PEOPLE USE TEXT FOR URGENT MESSAGES? (important to get a response immediately):
There are a few reasons why people don’t use text for messages that are really important to get a response instantly:

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to katie: about santa and fiction and reality

I love stories. I was raised by two of the greatest storytellers the world has ever known. My Mom, your Gramma, almost always has the perfect story, in any situation, and her stories always help me understand things a little better than I did before. My Dad, who you never got to meet, would not always tell helpful stories like Gramma, but his stories were always told with so much energy and humor that everyone in the room would gather around to listen.

Usually their stories were based on things that actually happened, real events. For example, one of Gramma’s favorite stories is about being at a party for a couple’s 50th wedding anniversary. Someone asked the couple, “Didn’t you ever want to leave each other in 50 years?” and the husband answered, “Well, sure we did. But thank the Lord, never on the same day.” That was a real couple, and a real party, and they really said those things (or something very close to that – a storyteller always has the right to put in an extra word or two to help make the story a little better). So that story is called “reality-based” because it is based on real stuff that nobody made up.

But sometimes stories are about people, places, things, or activities that are made up, pretend. For example, do you remember when Kevin and I told you and your sister the story of Star Wars? And every time we said “Darth Vader” you guys said “Dun Dun DUHHHHH!” (That still makes both of us laugh when we think about that). Well, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia and Han Solo and everything in Star Wars is not based on real events – someone made up those characters and those stories. That makes them fiction, not reality-based.

Now here’s the part that gets a little confusing: I think that fictional characters are a little bit real, in their own special way.

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to katie: about disney princesses and story messages

Dear Katie: We’ve had a conversation about the Disney princess movies, and the messages you get from stories. It was a couple of years ago, and you and Claire were on the swings in the back yard, and we talked about a bunch of movies. Gramma said we talked for over an hour, and that you both looked like you were very interested in the conversation. Hopefully you will still find this conversation interesting now.

This letter has the summary at the beginning instead of the end, and here it is: People make movies to be entertaining, not to teach you how to live your life, so characters in movies often make decisions which would be horrible horrible horrible decisions to make in your life.

The Little Mermaid

Let’s start with the movie that I consider the worst offender: The Little Mermaid. For starters, Ariel decides she is in love with Eric because he’s beautiful. Eric decides he is in love with Ariel because he likes her voice. That’s it. Neither of them know if the other is nice or mean, generous or selfish, smart or not smart, fun or boring, and yet, they think they’re in love.

I do not think that is love. I think that is a crush. Read the rest of this entry »

to katie: about everything. love, aunt angie

I’m Angela, a childless aunt, who sometimes goes by Angie.

Katie is my niece. She turns 12 in 2009, the year this blog started.

Katie and I share an IQ ranking (top 2% ish), a middle name (Jane), and a some key personality predispositions.

Whenever I am around Katie, I have the urge to share with her every life lesson I’ve ever learned, in hopes that she might not have to learn all of them the hard way(s) herself.

Thankfully for Katie, usually I just keep my mouth shut and work on being fun instead.

However, in early 2009, I wrote Katie a letter about grief, and I realized that it is easier for me write down what I believe about the world when I’m thinking of sharing it with her than if I’m just writing it for myself.

Also in early 2009, I came down with vertigo so severe that my productivity was limited to short bursts of writing. After I wrote Katie the letter about grief, I figured I could use my vertigo productivity times to continue to write, even if the writing is really more for me than it is for her.

So I started this blog.

I don’t know that Katie, or the world, will actually benefit from my collected thoughts. I don’t even know that Katie will ever actually read these things. It doesn’t seem to be the most important part of writing them.

I do know that I love reading letters that other people write to children they love. The format seems to distill realism, optimism, and love into palatable wisdom. At least it works that way when others do it; we’ll see how mine turns out.

Aunt Angie