Letter from my niece — sort of


Dearest Auntie  Carole,

Hey there.

We will be flying in for your and my birthdays next week  and I can’t wait to see you. However, I wanted to write this ahead of time  so you can think about  the reason I am writing  before you see me.

I know you are a psychotherapist (did I spell it right?)   and one of the things you do all day is try to make children happy.  So, I thought  I might write and ask if you  could make  this 8 ¾ year old happy.


Why?  Because I have been annoyed and unusually sad,  and not just because my mommy is sad. It’s my own weird sadness.

You see, for months I have been  watching t.v. with Mommy and Dad and have  been seeing a man named Donald Trump talking to us.

Mommy always tells me to be “open-minded” with everyone. But, Auntie, I am having a very hard time right now.

This man is going to be our president.  I think he is called our president-select. But, he kind of confuses me.

I thought presidents were supposed to be as kind as possible. I thought they were supposed to serve the people, not themselves.  My two best friends are Muslim and Cuban. They are very nice to me  and we always have sleepovers. But, this man,  the president-select, does not respect anyone  unless they are white people  or rich people types. How many  people in the world are  white or rich? Does that mean when he  meets men from far away lands, like where my  best friends are from, they probably won’t be white and so , he won’t pay  for their lunch?

Also, this president-select is not very nice with the ladies.  Daddy did not want me hearing that tape inside a news trailer,but I did.  I did not know what grope meant. I had to look it up. So,  grope means he physically hurts people ? Ladies are people. All people get in accidents and get sick.  Why is he adding to this when  there are more important events to take care of?

Auntie, aren’t we supposed to look up to a president? But, how can I do this if I do not like him? He already does  not like my best friends who are are so very nice and so much fun to play with,and, he might hurt me  if we ever met  because I am a young lady. Am I supposed to be scared?

Mommy always says.” When in doubt, be understanding”.  But how can I be understanding with  someone who thinks  it is funny  to hate or hurt  human beings? He became our president by hating  others.  How can I be understanding like Mommy said,and also hate people like he does? How can I do both at the same time? This is all messed up.

I already received some birthday gifts,Auntie Carole.  I will tell you what I received and why I am telling you about  this here. I received 1) a new magic trick, 2) a stuffed poodle  with an adoption certificate, 3) an ice cream making kit,and, 4) a $50.00 gift card to my favorite department store.

But, this is  what I decided. I am going to  buy blankets with my gift card and deliver them to this nearby church. Most of the church members are Mexican  and if they are asked to leave America in the middle of the night, I believe they will need blankets for the trip.

Also, Auntie, I know you are from Detroit. I found out that the president-select wants to  put another Detroiter in charge of a U.S. department  for housing poor people. This Detroiter is a doctor. Daddy said he is a brain doctor.  Do all brain doctors know about houses for poor people?  That seems silly. My Dad is a real estate lawyer and a law professor. Why wasn’t he chosen?

And, also, the president-select  chose a man named something Bannon to be his chief of staff. I do not know  chief of staff means,but,I heard this Bannon man hits his wife.  Why does he do that?  Why was he not  arrested by the policemen  for hurting a  lady? And, also, this Bannnon man  doesn’t want his kids  going to schoool with Jewish children. I am Jewish. I am nice. I do well in school. I change the litter box every day,  share my chocolate chips at lunch, practice the flute every day, and keep my desk at school very neat. Why couldn’t they go to school with me?

This reminds me of that yicky story about my great Uncle, your regular Uncle. Some government man did not like him, either, ‘cause he was Jewish. So, he was taken away from his  mom and  dad when he was 18 years old. They never saw him again. This happened in a far away  country named  Germany. Sometimes I wonder  if  this great Uncle is really living  somewhere, waiting  for us to find him, pretending he isn’t Jewish, so he won’t be taken away again.

Anyhow,  Letitia  (Cuban best friend) is coming over  for  dinner tonight. She is going to bring me an early birthday gift. I am not supposed to  know, but I found out what it is: A Taylor Swift  songbook-that I am going to try on my flute. Wish me luck.

I can’t wait  to see you next week.  (I bought you something for your birthday,but it is a secret.  Hint- it smells awesome and you spray it on your neck.)

Anyhow, maybe you will have thought about  how to answer these questions regarding this man. Oh- I did ask my Sunday school teacher  about some of this and she said  there is a Jewish proverb that  might help here. It goes like this – “ The greatest wisdom in the world,is kindness”.

So, because of that proverb I decided, this coming March, I will send  a birthday card to Barron Trump in New York City. According to that proverb, it will make me wise. Is that right?

Also, Auntie, if you think any of these questions are too sad or too difficult  to answer, I will understand  and we don’t have to discuss them.  Just that, we will both know they do live someplace in my head.

I love you very much and will give you a gynormous hug when I get off the plane and I will show you my new, good flute playing abilities. Okay?

Maybe  writing this  has made me a teensy bit less confused. But, I am not sure.


Toodles for now,


Your Favorite   ( only !)  Niece,


Miss Jenny L.


Carole H. Field is a psychotherapist in Los Angeles.

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  1. Reading this letter breaks my heart. Jenny verbalized what so many of us are feeling young and old. What on earth do we tell our children about the human values that are being violated and the hopes that are being dashed against hard surfaces by our President-Elect? How do we explain the mental, verbal and psychological violence that is going on with our leaders today? Jenny, my heart breaks for you and all the children. I hope we all find our way through this.

  2. Ms. Field, you have a very intelligent “niece” who has asked all the right questions! I hope you can answer them for her and for the rest of us who feel the same way.

    She certainly raises several relevant and alarming points that unfortunately will be difficult to answer, since t the president select is so unpredictable. But do your best to calm her fears and those of the nation that think as she does.

  3. This is a great article. The point of view from a child makes us as adults see things clearly.
    “ The greatest wisdom in the world, is kindness.”

  4. Well said, Ms. Field! I wish there were more voices like yours. We’re going to need all the help we can get over the next four years!


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