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Kenna Karjala
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Dear Peanut,

Right now you are 1,252 miles away and I am missing you like crazy. You are just about to turn five (it feels like you were just three yesterday?!) and just so full of love and life and curiosity. Every day you grow a little taller and a little older, but you also grow kinder and more thoughtful with every question you ask. You love dinosaurs and making stories and seeing animals and scooby doo and learning new things. You love corn and swimming and Nana and Papa and just about everything around you. Your propensity for compassion and your never-ending curiosity is astounding, and gives me great hope for the future of the world, but I also worry that the world might take those from you. From the day I found out I was going to be an aunt, when you were just a little peanut bouncing gummy bears off your mom’s tummy with your impressive hiccups, you became my inspiration and my motivation to actually make a difference. I love you so darn much and I have always wanted your future to be as bright and full of life as you are. 

I want to be able to take you on hikes and bike rides and out kayaking and snorkeling and be able to teach you about all the marvelous things around us, but I am afraid that we may never get the chance to explore the world together. Our planet is on track to warm 3-5°C by 2100 and with that change comes the end of many of the things that make life here so magical; things that I want, selfishly, to preserve so that I can enjoy them with you. Since you were born it has been my goal in life to make sure you can experience those things, and while, currently, my contribution lies in educating myself on how to be a better contributor, hopefully one day I can actually help change the world for you. There are many, many possible solutions and there is still hope, we just need to get there. For now, I am taking it one day at a time, with some days being more difficult to get through, but I always have you close to my heart to keep me going. Life feels scary right now and I am so glad that you aren’t having to deal with reality quite yet. I know one day you are going to come face to face with climate change, but I hope that by the time you do, we will be on a better path and you can stay the compassionate and curious boy you are today. You give me so much hope and strength, peanut, we are going to get through this together.

I love you to the moon and back and then some,

Aunty Kedda

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