To my daughter:
I have been waiting for you.
Since I was a little girl toting around a baby doll, I have been practicing to be your mommy. I have dreamed about reading you bedtime stories and tucking you in. Your perfect eyes and warm smile, I’ve pictured them in my mind countless times.
I’ve hoped for the special connection that would bond us together, unshakably. That we find the perfect balance between parent and friend.
I want to be the one who knows your secrets, and your dreams, and your fears.
I worry about the rough times, when you learn everyone isn’t your friend and some people are unnecessarily cruel.
I want to protect you from the evil in the world, but also prepare you for it.
I hope I can be the mother who teaches you kindness, patience, and forgiveness.
But most of all, I hope you are nothing like me.
I don’t want you to struggle to find yourself, like I did. I want you to be confident in who you are, and in the love and support you have from your family.
I hope you never feel the sting of being different, but rather embrace it, knowing that our differences are what make us beautiful and allow us to grow.
Do not let your experiences harden you, as I did. Use them to gain insight and empathy; you will learn compassion as a result.
I hope your tongue is not irreversibly sharp when you are angry. Please do not let your emotions overpower your ability to remain kind.
I want you to be strong and stay grounded in what you know is right. If you must stray from the crowd to remain true to your values, I hope you are courageous enough to do so.
I hope your heart is open, and you are able to trust. Please don’t let your insecurities impede your path, the way I did.
Don’t cling to the comforts of what you know. Be bold and explore your curiosities. Embrace failure as a necessity of growth. Do not fear it; it will teach you the greatest lessons of all.
I know you will find your way, as I have found mine. I wish it were possible that you never experience pain or sorrow, but you must. It will shape you in a positive way, if you let it.
You will stumble and fall and, no doubt, be discouraged. But you will stand up, dust yourself off, and take another step, because you are strong.
It is your path to walk. I can’t do it for you, and I don’t want to. I pray you don’t make the mistakes I have made. But, no matter your journey, I will support you every step of the way, because…
You are beautiful. You are amazing. You are perfect.
This article appeared originally on Close to Classy, published with permission.