This is beautiful.
My niece Gabi is 15 years old and is sort of my hero.
That sounds weird and I can’t really explain myself without telling stories that aren’t mine to tell, but I can tell you that she’s so much like me it’s a bit eerie. The difference is that instead of retreating from the world, Gabi reshapes the world to work for her. While I was writing dark, angsty poetry at her age, Gabi has skipped forward to look for the light. I sang in my bathroom so much that it drove my family nuts. Gabi taught herself the ukulele and performs original songs for strangers in parks. She sews her own clothes and costumes, and constructs elaborate dragon wings, and makes zombie sock-puppets and is quietly and unapologetically herself.
A few weeks ago I heard a song she wrote and recorded herself and it made me cry…possibly because I’m an extraordinarily proud aunt, but also because the…
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