Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter,

This letter is different than your monthly updates that talk about your cuteness and your milestones. This letter is about the things I hope that I can do for you as a Mother. This world we live in, it is a harsh world. I will never gloss that over, because it is important for you to know. But I hope to protect you to the best of my ability.

In this world we live in, I hope someday you will understand the decisions that your father and I make when it comes to you. I hope that you will understand why it is so hard to just let you go outside and play without watching over you like a hawk. I want you to feel free, but want to protect you from the predators in this world that may be disguised as community leaders, religious leaders, teachers and friends. I want you to be like the other kids, but understand why we do not let you watch TV. There really is nothing on there worth watching anymore and I know that I shouldn't watch it either. I hope to teach you the joys of reading. The places that books can take you and the things you can learn without ever having to experience them for yourself.

I hope that when the time comes to send you to school, that the bureaucrats have gotten their act together and decided that more important than getting money for more passing test grades on state tests, is learning and teaching our children, not only the things they need to know for tomorrow, but how to "fish" in the world, not just be handed the fish. I hope they can find a balance between discipline, self-esteem and learning. Life is hard, it is not fair and it never will be, so coddling our children is not in their best interest. I hope that you never have to experience being held hostage and watching friends be hurt or killed and I hope I never have to stand outside a school praying that my child is alright.

I hope you will understand why you have a curfew and why it is so important to keep it. Good things do not happen after midnight. Night time is dangerous and I only want to protect you to the best of my ability. I hope that you will understand that when you start driving, why you can only have one other person in the car with you. Driving takes skill, practice, and focus. You cannot have focus with 4 other teenagers in the car. If you do have focus, odds are it will be on a boy or some other interesting thing at school, not on the road. I hope I never have to be on the receiving end of a late night phone call telling me that you are not coming back from wherever you have gone. I hope that the lesson death brings is a lesson you do not learn too young. Losing friends at any age is difficult at best, but the teenage years are hard enough and full of other lessons just as hard.

I hope that I never have to hear a doctor tell me something is wrong with you that cannot be fixed. I hope that you never know real pain, but I know that is not possible. Pain is a part of life. I hope I can teach you how to deal with it gracefully. Someone once said, just because you have a pain, doesn't mean you have to be one. Handle pain and heartache, difficult situations with grace, others will notice.

I hope that I can teach you to make good decisions so that when I am not with you, you will make good decisions and be proud of them. Sometimes good decisions go against the grain. That's okay. Stand up for what you believe in and remember that all fads pass and you learn more with age. I hope that I can lead by example and not be a hypocrite, I will do my best. For I should never say, "do as I say, not as I do." I hope that I will make you proud and that I will make God proud for how I raise you.

I hope that you know that I will always do the best that I can do. Sometimes my best will be better than other times. I hope that you will realize that I am human and make mistakes, much sooner than I ever realized it with my parents. I hope that you will be forgiving when I do make mistakes and I hope that I can do the same for myself.

I hope that my marriage to your father will be a living example of a healthy, happy relationship that you will someday model your own marriage after. I hope that we will teach you that arguing is good and healthy, and that when you love someone, it's not about who's right or wrong, but about making it right. It's never too late to say, "I'm sorry."

I hope that you always know how much I love you and how beautiful you are. I hope that I can teach you the true meaning of beauty, both inside and out without blurring the line. I hope that I can break through the hold society has on appearances and teach you how to love yourself for you and to never feel bad about who you are. Self esteem is such a fragile thing, easily broken, hard to repair. Pride can be dangerous as well. Balance is one key to a happy life.

Lastly, I can only hope that as you grow, this world just might make itself a little better. I hope that as a Mother, I can be a part of making the world a better place, not the other way around. I love you, dear daughter and pray for your safety.


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