My eldest niece has just celebrated her 20th birthday! She’s currently in her third year at Cornell University, although this picture is from her high school graduation. I couldn’t be prouder of her, and I’m enjoying (with some trepidation) her becoming an independent adult and exploring what she wants to do with her life.
To my giddy delight, she has just completed her 2nd trip out of the country. In general, my family doesn’t do a lot of travel out of the US, and so I encourage this sort of behavior as much as I can. She’s the first of my nieces and nephews to follow through.
Of course, she doesn’t take the usual route of a hedonistic, $1 a day tour of European hostels, No, she has to go do a Ropes Course in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of her hanging from the canopy of trees in Central America (I’ve seen them, so I know it’s true).
Ah well, it’s all in keeping with her athletic tendencies. In elementary school she was into gymnastics, high school was swimming, and now in college – rugby (ack!), camping/backpacking, and ropes courses. Above is a picture of her with some group hiking in Texas (second from the left). She claims it’s fun. Texas?
Now the embarrassing photos! Her mother sends me these prom photos to freak me out, since I (of course) try to keep her in my mind at about 10 years old. The nice thing about digital photos is that I can clip out the irrelevant guys and focus on the important part of the image. Embarrassing her is just a perk.
So, I’m basically just “braggin’ on” Amanda being smart (accepted into Cornell with something like a 5.9 GPA, and is studying International Agricultural Labor Relational Managerial Something or Other), athletic (gymnast, swimmer, rugby maniac, backpacker, ropes instructor, and I think Olympic Biathlon athlete), and beautiful (rats, my Protective Uncle Society oath prevents me from expounding on or joking about this topic).
And more importantly, I just like her. She’s fun to be around.
Happy Birthday, kiddo.