Monday, October 15, 2012

Dear Tessa (part 1)

Dear Tessa,

I know we just met today, but you're alright by me, kid. In fact, I can't say your name without tearing up. Excuse your Tìa, but I'm emotional. I hope you have a little bit of that in you. You'll need it in this family. When I saw you in Tìo Junior's arms I started to cry, as did he, and your dad said, "We'll all teach her things." So, since your dad gave me the green light, let's get started!

You won't have to remember all of this now, but keep this for your collection ("Scarface" reference. We can watch that together when you're 14).

1. Listen to your mom and dad when they tell you that skirt is too short.

2. Don't drink coffee until at least your third year of college.

3. Fat is not a bad word.

4. The worst things you can be called are 'stupid' and 'dumb.'

5. There are such things as stupid questions.

6. Ask for help when you need it. Whether it's your fourth grade math homework or when you're 25 and can't find a way to make up with your best friend. Your Tìa knows all about that and is more than willing to help.

7. Laugh until you cry.

8. Cry until you laugh and can move on.

9. Stay away from ugly people; ugly on the inside. You will never be able to fix anyone no matter how much you love them.

10. Your Vòvò taught me this and it has been the best piece of advice that I have ever received: Only aspire to be kind. And when you think that you're being kind of enough, try harder. You'll never regret it.

11. Don't forget your roots. Your grandparents were immigrants from the tiny islands of Cabo Verde. They scrubbed toilets at Harvard Law School and checked the blades at the Gillette Factory for you. They worked hard in hopes that you would have a better future. Remember this, as I know that I have forgotten it so many times in my life when I didn't write a paper because I was too tired. Write the paper. Finish the race. Finish because you've got it in you.

12. Make mistakes. Make lots of them. Make them until you finally learn that it's okay to mess up and I promise that is when you really succeed.

13. Never shoot a basketball with two hands. It's a horrible habit that will be hard to break. Practice dribbling with your less dominant hand. Play basketball. You don't have a choice in this, baby girl.

14. Cut off all of your hair at least once in your life.

16. Go to a women's college. Seven Sisters. You're welcome.

17. Make Papa pay for you to study abroad.

18. Ask mommy to bring you to Italy.

19. Practice speaking creole, even when I slip up and speak English to you. Learn your language.

20. In 7th grade, read "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." It'll keep your hormones at bay.

21. Spend time alone in your room drawing, day dreaming, and being silent.

22. You have cousins. They will help you get through so much that your friends just won't understand.

23. If someone gives you a shoulder, cry on it.
I'm an old lady and have a whole lot more to share with you, Tess. I think this is a good start, though.

Your Coolest Tìa
What advice would you give to Baby Tess? Share!


  1. I'm so so so happy that you continue to write. Your niece is lucky to have you. Even though this is for her, I think there are some lessons we can all take away.


  2. Congrats!!! Im assuming Tia means aunt,correct? I love all the lessons.. I cut off all my hair at 16, but i think its time to do it again!!

    My advice is "listen to your Tia, she gives pretty sound advice- although you may feel she is rambling" ;)

  3. @J Thanks! I'm so excited to see her grow up. I feel like there is just so much that I want to tell her. =)

    @Anonymous Yes, Tia is aunt. =) Didn't you love when you cut your hair off? I haven't met a woman yet who has regretted the decision. I will try not to ramble with her so much, lol.

  4. Thanks for your grateful informations, this blogs will be really help for students scholarships.

  5. I can see it clearly, in the nearest future: New book release today! Dear Tess by Amelia Pontes.

    This is so beautiful Amelia, she´s is a very lucky girl to have you in her life.

    I hope you´ll continue your Dear Tess diaries;)

    "You have cousins. They will help you get through so much that your friends just won't understand. " Looooved this!