8 Things I Want my Daughter to Know

Dear Daughter,

Look into my eyes and let me tell you, there are no limits.

When I was young, I felt small in a large world. I was desperate to belong, so I tried to fit in. I tried to reduce myself to a puzzle piece in a giant picture. I tried to have straight edges and to not take up too much room.

The problem is I wasn’t made to fit. I was meant to live large and free and uninhibited. We all were. It took me a long time to realize that; it took me a long time to set myself free.

I hope that isn’t the same for you, dear one. I hope you burn fierce, burn loud, burn wild, burn bright. I hope you’re unapologetic about the fire that’s inside you.

Here are a few things I want you to know that I wish I’d know earlier:

1. It’s okay to break the rules. Break all the rules of being “a girl”.  No one gets to tell you what being a woman is except for you. You do it your way. Sing the song that’s inside you.  Right now you are wild and untamed. Your hair dances around your face like a lion’s mane and everything you do is rambunctious, loud, and unashamed.

If you come up against rules that say you shouldn’t, that you shouldn’t be fierce or wild or strong; break them, and break them with all your heart.

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2. You are you are you. When I look into your eyes, I can’t help but see some of myself. I see a little of  dad and some of grandma, but mostly I see YOU. I see someone new, someone the world has never seen before. While you are a collaboration of characters, you are mostly and uniquely yourself. Your story is not my story. Your story is is no one’s but yours.

Own your own magic and own it fiercely.

3.You are enough. You, my dear one, are more than enough. It isn’t different on a day you get a bad grade or you make a terrible decision. It can’t be lost on a morning when you wake up with bags under your eyes or are so grumpy no one wants to be around you.

It is unmovable; it’s unshakable.

YOU ARE ENOUGH. Always. Forever. No mistake you make or bad haircut you get can change that, not ever.

Believe me, you will make mistakes and you will get bad haircuts.

4.Be loud. Shriek for joy if you want to. Laugh at the world until it laughs back.  You can be soft spoken when you want…it’s also okay to roar loud enough to shake the ground.

5.Things will not be perfect. Life will bring disappointments. There will be struggles, there will people who say hurtful things, there will be lies that try to consume you. There will be teachers that just don’t get it, there will be friends who go behind your back, there will be people who are unkind.

That’s not your fault. You didn’t do something wrong to deserve it. It’s just life.

When that happens remember, you are loved, you are wonderful, you are enough. It will still hurt, but it won’t hurt forever.

6. You’ve got what it takes. You are brave enough. You are strong enough. You are okay enough. You will come out the other side, and you will be better than you were before.

7. It’s good to enjoy life. Let loose sometimes. Eat the good food. Go skinny dipping. Try something you’ve never tried. Embrace life with creative abandon. Self discipline is good, but don’t forget to run through the grass and scream at the top of your lungs.

8. You can’t change my heart towards you. It’s not possible. I’ve been my worst self too. I promise to love you through every shade of struggle.

I will walk through every mistake, every mess, every mile with you and then I will do it a thousand times again. This life is messy and all the lines are fuzzy and unclear. No matter what, I am PROUD to be your mom.

Right now your face is bright, and you laugh in a way that sets the world on fire and washes it clean all at the same time.

I hope you stay that way. I hope you stay that way forever.

Love,

Mama

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