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Dad always said, “I hope my life never depends on a flashlight or telephone,” because when he needed them most, they didn’t work.  These days we can add “internet connection” to the list.

From February to June 2019, I will be in South Sudan where internet is iffy at best. But don’t let that stop you from making contact because I am scheduling keynotes for my return. And if I can’t respond to your inquiry directly, a member of the fabulous Team Catherine will so we can meet your needs.

Letter of Apology

To all of my aunts and uncles:

Please excuse me for this apology comes forty years too late. But, as they say, better late than never.

At the request of my brother and his wife who wanted to run far away from home, without their children, I agreed to watch over your grandnieces (ages 13 and 7) and grandnephew (age 11) last week. And now that their parents have returned and the children are safe in their arms once again, I would like to take a moment to apologize to all of you, my dearest aunts and uncles.

I apologize for making you wait as I ever so slowly put on my shoes when all you wanted to do was get out of the house. For those times you took me to a nice restaurant and I informed you that the food was not up to par. For hitting my brother moments after you told me to stop. For flat out lying to you when I told you it wasn’t I who took the last cookie. For constantly engaging you in negotiations on decisions you had made. For all the testing of boundaries, the eye rolling, and the whining. And for never believing anything you told me.

Now I know there is far more I could apologize for. But you have always known and I have just learned that it would not be possible to list all of the grievances I committed from the ages of 7 to 13 (or at any other time for that matter) while in your care. Besides, I was just being a kid. So, would you, could you, simply accept my heartfelt apology for everything and anything?

I now understand, all too well, the level of responsibility you assumed for taking care of someone else’s child. The restraint you showed. And your super power for not taking it personally when I gave you the impression that I did not need you. In my recent experience I see now that there comes a time in a child’s life where adults become irrelevant, except for their services as the chauffer. The maid. The bank. The social secretary. The event planner. The climate controller. The granola bar provider. And that ever-annoying presence who will eventually insist that yes, it is time for bed.

So to you, my dearest aunts and uncles, who spent time with me and my brother when there was no obligation to do so, please accept my heartfelt apology – for all of it. And not only an apology but also a thank you. Thank you for taking me to places my parents never would have. For creating a special bond between us that remains to this day, even if I don’t tell you nearly enough. For bringing to my world different perspectives and viewpoints. For all the cool experiences and memories. And for the time outs. I see now they weren’t punishments directed at me as much as they were a means of keeping you out of the big house. Thank you. For everything. My God but we had fun!

To my brother and sister-in-law: Despite the above, please know that you have raised some phenomenal children. They are intelligent, creative, curious, kind, fun, and polite. And strong-willed, which will prove to be a very good thing … later. Thank you for trusting me with them. They will tell you stories about our time together. How I made them walk and walk and walk (true.) That I beat them with the floor (not true, but I thought about it.) And that they never once hit one another (not at all true.)

To my nieces and nephew: I already paid a quarter into the dish for saying “God” above. In fact, I have already paid for what I am about to say: “God, God, like, like, whining noise, whining noise, like.” I would also like (the word is used appropriately here) to let you know that I had a great time hanging out with the three of you. My only regret is that when I offered to teach you how to make martinis you said you wanted to watch Square Pants Sponge Bob instead. Oh well, maybe next time. And believe me, I do hope that there will be a next time.

I love you all mucho much and until that next time … Aunt CC is out!

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