Dear Victoria:
You're just three days old now, still fresh and new, and already your photo has appeared on Facebook.  What a thrill to see your round, pink, perfect face for the first time!   Although I live far away from where you are, I  look at your picture and feel the miracle of you taking centre stage in my thoughts, my dreams and my heart.
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Victoria Elizabeth Maminski
Hold on tight, Victoria, for this is going to be an exciting ride.  You have entered a world where your opportunities are unlimited, your future is bright and you can achieve any of the goals that you aspire to.  Growing up in Canada, you'll benefit from a fine education system, excellent health care, a safe environment, good nutrition, and a stable government that protects individual rights and freedoms.   Your parents will make sure that all of your material needs are met.  Even before you arrived they prepared the nursery, filling your room with furniture, clothes, toys and books.  There's a mobile hanging over your crib that's designed to stimulate and delight your infant brain when you're awake and a wind-up music box that plays soothing songs to calm you down when it's sleepy time.   You won't lack for anything and you'll never have a dull moment.

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Parents, Jasen and Emily
Your parents are intent on nurturing your self-esteem and meeting your emotional needs. You are blessed, above all, with caring family members who are eager to love and cherish you, cradle and rock you, sing and read to you, play with you, teach you new skills, answer your questions and shower you with their undivided attention. Victoria Elizabeth  is such a confident, regal name that I have no doubt you'll grow up with the poise, good manners and grace of a queen.   

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Finca kids
How wonderfully privileged you are!  Every day in Argentina I see children who are not so fortunate.   When you come to visit your Grandma on the finca, you'll soon discover that the conditions you have enjoyed in childhood are not equally available for all youngsters.   The truth is, Victoria, that things aren't always fair in this world.   Your happy, secure status as a Canadian born into prosperity comes with an obligation.  My hope is that you will become mindful of the needs of others, and dedicate some time and effort to giving back.  In English these are  important verbs to add to your vocabulary: to volunteer, to donate, to support, to contribute, to participate.  You and your generation will possess the know-how, resources and stamina to find solutions to many of the world's serious problems.   As Henry David Thoreau said, " Each child begins the world again."  

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I celebrated your birth by baking a spice cake called kimbly, a Welsh tradition for honouring the  new baby and ensuring good luck for the future.  The recipe for this cake came from a Canadian novel "The Birth House" written by Ami McKay.  It's a terrific tale about birthing practices in rural Nova Scotia at a time when midwifery was competing with modern medicine. 

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It is customary to drink an ale with birthing cake.  Your step-grandfather Robert chose Quilmes Stout, a nice dark winter beer that's full of yeast and molasses flavours.   We made a toast to your arrival with wishes for health, happiness,  and sound wisdom.  And here's a song that just might become your favourite lullabye.   


With all my love, 
Grandmother Elizabeth Jane