Happy Mother’s Day everyone! It has been a very busy time in my life and I have been way behind on my posts. The following was written back in February, however, I chose to wait to publish it until Mother’s Day.
A Letter to my Daughter
My Dearest Daughter,
There are so many things I wish I could tell you as well as what I have protected you from.
As a parent, as your mom, there are times where I have been rendered with a feeling of helplessness. When you become ill or physically hurt, I want to do everything in my power to make you better. However, nothing prepared me for when you were emotionally injured. An illness has medication for treatment, a physical injury, can heal, but an emotional injury is long lasting. When you became a victim to bullying I will be honest, I was not prepared for the emotional turmoil you were experiencing. The tears, the self-doubt, the plummeting self-esteem, the heartache was heart breaking. I felt helpless.
Although I put on a brave face when you would come home from school in tears, know that I was crying with you as I consoled you. When we sat together at the psychologist’s office and you whispered that you were scared, know that I was scared too. When you stood in a stoic pose before me and said, “Mommy, I don’t want to live anymore; I want to live in Heaven.” I could not tell if my heart sank or stopped. I was frozen. All I could think of doing was hugging you and repeating over and over “I love you.” I did not want to lose you to bullying. But we worked through it, we got through it together.
I realize that I am the biggest influence in your life and that daughters emulate their moms. It is my responsibility, as your mom, to be an example to you by showing empathy, compassion and benevolence towards others. Therefore, as your mom, my biggest challenge is to raise you with a strong sense of self given all the influences and the environment that surround you. I know I must teach by example and that can be difficult at times. It is more than teaching you good manners, the pleases and thank yous, it is about teaching you to treat others with compassion and carry with you a sense of tolerance and understanding. The latter is the most difficult for it is so easy to concentrate on differences versus working towards compromise. The most difficult phrase for me to say, not only as an adult, but most especially as a parent, is “I’m sorry.” I know, as your mom, I’m not always going to get it right however, I will do my best to apologize, for I want you to know that I mess up sometimes and it’s OK.
My sweet daughter, you truly amaze me and I am proud of you. Your bravery and sense of adventure inspire me. I see glimpses of the amazing woman you will become. Know that you are strong, you are intelligent and you are beautiful, but most importantly it is what you carry inside your heart and how you treat others, these will be your greatest contributions to this world. Your strengths, your sense of self, no one can take that away from you, unless you let them, so do not let them. Thank you for letting me see the world through your eyes; I love the view. Your dream is to be an artist when you grow up. Paint the world with the spectrum of colors that reflect your bravery, your imagination, your passion and your compassion for others. What you paint will make this world a beautiful place.
As you strive for perfection, please remember nothing and no one is perfect. There will be disappointments, dreams will not always come true and your heart will get broken. But the best moments in life will only happen if we keep going and that is what you have to do, no matter what, just keep going. Although when you see me juggle our family’s world, activities, dinner, life in general, please know that I make mistakes, I make a lot of mistakes and sometimes I will forget to say “I’m sorry.” But no matter how many mistakes or how many flaws, I keep going and I will always love you and advocate for you.
I will end with a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, a super mom and advocate that I truly admire, “We gain strength and courage and confidence by each experience in which we look fear in the face . . . we must do that which we think we cannot. Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”