Eero True Huffman


Dear Eero,

Like your brother and sisters, you will hear about this letter a long time after it is written. As I write, you are too young to have learned how to read. You are too young to have learned any words at all. In time, however, words will become important to you. Some words you will learn from your parents, others from your siblings, and others from a much wider circle of people who love you.

It is my practice to write a letter to each of our grandchildren on the day after they are born. The letters are read by other members of our community as announcements of birth. They are also a legacy that you will one day inherit. This big, wonderful family into which you have been born is full of people who loved language and words for generations before you came into this life.

Before you read this letter, you will learn you name. Your parents gave a lot of thought to their choice. Eero is not a common name in the place where you were born. You are a special individual and it is important that you have a special name. Like all of the children in your family, your name begins with the letter E. Your parents wanted to continue that pattern with you, so that you would always remember your connection to your brother and sisters. Family is very important to our people. When you are older you will learn that your name is more common in Finland and Estonia. Two famous designers have your name. Eero Aarnio designed the interiors of buildings and furniture. Eero Saarinen designed many famous buildings and monuments. The huge Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri was designed by Eero Saarinen. You will have opportunities to design new ideas in your life as well.

Your middle name, True, was also chosen with great care. It is a value that we share in our family. Truth is important to us and something that cannot be compromised. Someday, you will probably read or attend a performance of a famous play by William Shakespeare called Hamlet. In that play, Polonius says, “This above all: to thine own self be true.” To do that you will need to discover your own identity and always be yourself in each situation of your life.

Names are blessings and challenges for us all. Your name is just one part of who you are, but it is an important part.

You are the fourth child in your family. There were three other children to greet you on the first day of your life. I had the blessing to be with you when they came home from school and ran upstairs for their first glimpse at the new baby. All of my grandchildren have special places in my heart. One of the things that is unique and wonderful about you is that you are the fourth child. I am a fourth child, too. In the family into which I was born there were already three children before I came to the family. Four is a very special number with important meanings to a lot of people. There are four directions: north, south, east, and west. There are four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. Many things come in four. Being fourth means that there will be many places you will go in life where another member of your family has already been. You will meet teachers who met your siblings before they met you. That is just one of the places where you will need to be true to yourself. You are related to your brother and sisters. You are like your brother and sisters. But you are also unique. You are your own person and when you are true to yourself, you will have much to offer to the world.

Along with all of us in this family, you were born into a long legacy of love. The love of your father and mother and brother and sisters is just part of the great circle of aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents who were eagerly awaiting your birth and who will share love with you for all of your life. That love is not just a gift that you receive, but it is yours to give to others as well. As you grow and learn you will have many opportunities to share love with other people. There will always be an abundance of love. The more you give away, the more you will discover. I know this because of my experience of loving you and your siblings and parents. Each person in the family has love to give and the more love that is given, the more love there is to share.

On the day that you were born, I got to read stories to your sisters before they were tucked into bed. Your brother was reading his own book at the time. All three slept at your grandmother’s and my house, just a little way down the road from the house where you were born on that first night. You had time to rest with your mother and father. As I tucked each of your siblings into their beds, we spoke of the things for which we give thanks. You were the first thing on everyone’s list that day. We are so grateful that you have come into our lives. We will always remember the day that you were born and how precious you are to each of us.

I am eager to read stories to you. Before you learn to read this letter, you will need to have many stories read to you. Reading stories is one of the great joys of being a grandpa. Some of the books will remind me of the times I read them to your brother and sisters. Some will remind me of the times I read them to your father and aunt. There are many stories to be shared.

Now you have come to us and brought another wonderful chapter to our story. How precious you are! How amazing the story is!

Welcome. May you always remember how much you are loved.


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