To My Dearest Daughter,
For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamt of you.
Long before I knew that toothy smile, the color of your eyes, or every single roll on your chunky little legs, I knew you. You’re that darling baby girl from my dreams. The one who I danced around meadows with, the one who tossed back her head and belly laughed as I threw her in the air. You’re my daughter. You’re the one.
People would ask “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to be a mom. I was lucky enough to have an absolute queen of a mother who I wanted to be like one day. As a young child, I pictured my future life as a mom. I envisioned myself and my perfect daughter. Little did I know, that perfect little daughter in my dreams would be nothing compared to you. You, my daughter, are perfect in every way. You are perfect for me, and you are perfect for our family.
When I dreamt of you, I lived in a different world.
It seemed like a safer and happier world but maybe that was because I was just a child myself. I was naive and ignorant of how cold this world could be. When I carried you in my womb I was filled with anxiety over the world I was bringing you into. Pandemics, division, hatred, fear of the unknown – were just a few of the worries that consumed me.
You deserve the best of what this life has to offer, my dearest daughter
You deserve to be able to hug your friends without fear of spreading a virus, to walk into a store without a mask covering your face, to hop on the school bus without fear of a car racing past the big flashing stop sign, to be able to simply say “no” without being labeled as impolite, or worse.
I hope myself, and all the other grown-ups in our world can put aside our differences and work to make all of those things a reality for you before you’re old enough to remember when they weren’t.
A few pieces of advice from your mama
Don’t be afraid to say “no” without further explanation. To say “I’m not interested”. To ask for a promotion. To say “I can do that”. To further your knowledge and your education. To give people compliments or constructive criticism. And to gracefully receive compliments or constructive criticism.
Get out there and protest for what you believe in, scream and shout until people hear you. Support your friends. Support other women. And above all else, the best advice I can give to you is to love yourself. Because, honey, no one should love you more than you love yourself.
When you’re out there loving yourself, don’t forget to love others.
And when I say “others” I don’t mean just people who look, act and think like you. Open your heart, and open your arms to people who are different from you. Different ideologies, different cultures, different communities, different races, different religions, different struggles. You can learn so much about how beautiful this world can be when you open your heart and mind to other people.
Be a good friend, but don’t let others walk all over you.
You can be a good friend while also standing your ground. You do not have to keep people in your life that bring you negative energy. Toxic people and toxic relationships have no place in your world, baby girl. With that being said, I wish I could take away every heartache life will throw your way. But I know it’s those trials and tribulations that will make you who you are meant to be.
You are a determined girl who will grow into a powerful woman, and I can’t wait to watch you evolve into the person I dreamt you could be.