This letter from a mother to her teenage daughter is a great reminder that parenting is not a popularity contest, it’s a calling.
Dear Sweet Child of Mine,
I know you are so big now. You’re growing up faster than I could have ever imagined. In my mind, you went from 16 months to 16 years in about two weeks. It’s gone by so quickly for me, and even as you wish away your youth in exchange for budding independence, I can still see you as a baby in my arms. Oh it was not so long ago I would rock you to sleep. And now, the nights where we will be under the same roof are quickly slipping away. Dear God, how did that happen so fast?
But so many times, what I want to say to you in the heat of our “discussions” is not what comes out. In my fear for your safety, for protecting you from every hurt I endured, every pain I see you walking straight toward, I come across as angry.
It seems to you that I just don’t understand.
Sweetheart, nothing could be further from the truth. I do understand. I understand completely. And what you need to understand is that my first job as a parent is not to win a popularity contest—it is to protect you. I am here to first stand guard. To keep you safe—from even yourself if necessary. If that makes me unpopular with you or your friends, oh well. Such is the price of being right. And I am willing to pay it.
Second, my job is to lead you. In this phase of your life, you may think you understand everything and everyone—but let me assure you—you do not. I see things you are blind to. I sense things you are clueless about. Dear sweet child, you must trust me. How many times have I been wrong before? I have nothing but your best interest at heart. So if I am leading you away from something or someone, you can trust that it is not because I am trying to ruin your life, but to save it.
Last, please remember this. There is no one else, not a single living soul on this earth, that loves you as much as I do. I’d do anything for you. I would give my life in exchange for yours any day of the week. If a doctor said you needed my heart to survive, I’d gladly give it. It’s with every cell of my being that I ask you to remember this when we argue. When you think I’m wrong. Or mean. Or stupid. Or that I don’t care or love you. I want you to know I’d give my last breath for you.
So don’t think for a minute that I’ll give up fighting the good fight. I win, because I love you. I fight because I’m fighting for what’s best for you. And I love you so fiercely that it’s crazy.
I love you my sweet child.
I love love love love you.