May this find you well.
In the course of a few years, I have imagined you in a few different ways. Short, tall. Skinny... but I hope you look like your grandmother. She’s beautiful and lovely. She’ll teach you all about kindness and love. I’ve thought of you as a sweet girl, with unruly hair, and misplaced freckles on your face. And though you enjoy wearing dresses, you’d ruin them all on your little adventures. I’ve imagined giving you the teddy I’ve slept with since my old one lost his nose. I don’t know if you’d like her, but she’s yours if you want her.
I’ve imagined you with a twin sister, so you’d never be alone, and if you didn’t, I'd be your playmate. I’d buy a puppy to grow with you, and keep you safe. I’ve imagined you falling asleep while I read you Tolkien, Rowling, or Gaiman. Showing you how to hold a paintbrush, and when you’d sit with me to draw, I’d stop and watch you instead.
I’ve imagined us dancing to music, your tiny feet on mine as I lead you. I’d teach you the lyrics to Someone to you, Perfect, Break Free, and Hey Jude. I’d show you the importance of taking care of plants, and the earth, and we’d have a little garden with things you picked out. When you get sick, I’d sit with you through the night, and sing you to sleep with Twitchy, Witchy girl and The Last Goodbye.
I’d teach you to fight your battles, never give in to your fears, and hope you’d grow up stronger than me. And when you’re older, I’d teach you what to do in bad situations. I’d tell you: no matter the circumstances, you can always call me, even if you had lied to me before. I’d teach you to take care of yourself, buy you the books you deserve and need, and help you find the things you love doing most. I’d tell you whatever you do, make sure it is exactly what you want, and no one else, and when people tell you you can’t, do it anyway. Prove them wrong.
I’d listen to you sneak off with your friends, and not say a thing, but worry none the less. I’d teach you the difference between what is right and what is wrong and when you mess up, I’ll be there to help you pick up the pieces. I promised myself I’d be patient with you, I’d treat your friends like family, and when you fall in love I’ll be there for the good and the bad days. I’d laugh and smile with you as you tell me why you love them. And when you break up I’ll buy you your favorite ice cream and movies to cheer you up.
I’d sit through your tantrums, listen to your opinions, and when you’re in pain make you a hot cup of cocoa. I’d do my best not to coddle you, but I can’t make any promises, as you’d be the most important thing to me in the universe. If you have any questions, just ask. I promise to do my best to answer them. I’d make sure you’re never lonely, you can sit with your uncle and me, he’d probably give you your first alcoholic drink. I probably won’t know, but I would find it more comforting than you drinking the first time in a bar with people who you didn’t know.
And when you leave for college, or to do whatever it is you have been wanting to do, even if it's just traveling, or moving and starting your own business, I’d help you pack. I’d save up so that you can do whatever it is you have been dreaming to do. So that you don’t have to starve in college, worry about whether or not I can pay for another year when you don’t pass. And when you can’t find work in those first few months of finishing, and you feel like you have failed, I’d do my damnest to make you understand how important you are. How you just have to give it time, maybe go study abroad for a while. I’d make sure that I have all that you need. Your puppy and I would miss you, and we’d call you each week and message you to make sure you’re okay until you tell me to sod off.
And even then I won’t stop.
And when you make something of yourself, and you definitely will, I’d be so proud of you. Even when you forget to call. Even if I started to forget you. Everything I’d do once you’re in my life would be to make you happy and strong. You’d be the most important thing to me.
It’s too bad you will never exist.
Goodbye, Coraline. I’ll see you in my dreams.