Honored Mother and Ada Glariond,
I am writing you both because it is more efficient, which means that it takes less paper to say the same things. I like this word. I am using it so much that Adia says she will toss a ball of snow at me the next time I say it. But she didn’t say that I should not write it, and so I have.
We are excited about the baby! Adia and I have made for her a bed with many blankets because she is half Sireshan and may get cold like we do. When is she coming? We are ready! I am thinking her hands seem very small, but the grown people say that it is the size of baby hands. I am thinking I was never so small, but Omi says I was. I wish I could remember. Why am I not remembering this? We will take her for walks and feed her cookies and teach her how to throw snow at boys. It is important, because if you do not throw snow at boys, some may think you are sweet on them, and this is a Very Bad Thing. I am not sweet on any boy, and I will not be. Boys are messy and loud and untie your hair ribbons. Everyone is saying “What a shame it is a girl” and Padrian sighed very much when we heard. I do not know why this is so. Girls are much, much nicer and do fewer things that are stupid. I am GLAD that you made a girl baby, and I hope you make lots more because girls are better. We can share more toys and put her in pretty dresses.
Hair is done with ribbons here. They are pieces of fabric. I know because I went to a fancy party with Grandmother Sedileth and I had my hair curled just like hers, only down. But I had this ribbon so it did not get in my face. They do not wear jewels in their nose here, or even henna! I wanted henna, but Grandmother Sedileth said it wasn’t the place, and Omi says I am not grown up enough. But Grandmother lended to me her emerald necklace and it was sparkly and pretty and my dress had fur on it! Adia drawed a picture on the back of the paper so you can see. There were many rules about going to Grandmother’s party, but I followed them all and was very, very good so I got sweets and Padrian let me go with him to pick out books! There were not enough books for children here, but now we have some.
The party was very nice, but the ladies said strange things. They were saying that I was Ada Glariond’s border war child and Grandmother Sedileth heard and made the face she makes when someone is in deep trouble. I could not say anything because Children Must Be Seen And Not Heard (this is a rule for Grandmother’s parties), or I would have explained that I am not from the border at all! I was worried because ignorant people must be told about the truth, but I could not talk. But Grandmother Sedileth said that you were married to each other and I was legit-something. It was a long word and she would not say what it was meaning. One of them said I was dark as night, and because I am allowed to speak if spoken to, I said, “Thank you,” and then they stopped saying things and were upset because Grandmother did not say I can understand the Westron. I said I was sorry, and Grandmother said they should be sorry, and then they gave me cake while musicians played. Everyone said I was perfectly behaved. I hope this brings you honor, even if I am a border war baby and this is bad. Is it bad to be dark? Everyone say that Honored Mother is very beautiful, and she is my color. But Adia is not so dark, but I think she too is beautiful, and her mother is pale and I think is also beautiful. Why are people caring so much what other people are looking like? I think that all kind people are beautiful when my heart is looking.
But the party, it was fun. I was sad Adia could not come, but it was something for nobles, I think. It is not fair. Why am I noble, but Adia is not? I am not better than her, and she is braver and quicker than I am. I make many mistake and am afraid too much. Why must I be the Amirah? I think Adia would be better. Can the baby grow up to be amirah? Omi says no, but perhaps she can if you do something. I do not think I am deserving it.
Please be safe and come soon. All of Ada’s people say “When Glariond returns” all the time, and all of Honored Mother’s people say “If the Amirah were here”. We miss you very much. Adia says to hug Uncle Thragan.
Padrian is come to take me riding on his horse to buy for Adia and Branner presents! I must be going. I hope you pick for me a man like him to marry when the time comes. He is very kind and brave and strong and wise and not at all like boys are! I hope he gets married soon and makes sons so I can marry them. I would rather not be married at all than marry Branner, even though I like him now because he hit the boy who called me names and snuck me dinner when I had been bad.
Please send more sketches of Melethannas. That is a very long name. Everyone is saying that her name is bigger than she is. Does she like turnips? I need a sister who will eat mine. They are awful, these turnips.
Amirah Nafisah bint’Aminah, House Arathalion