Dearest Daughter, this is what I hope for you.
Today you are six, well, almost six and a half now, but before I know it you’ll be sixteen. You are my first born, beautiful daughter. You are so, so special to me.
You and I, we have been through so much together and you have given me more strength than I ever knew I had. You have tested my patience over and over again, but you have taught me a love that always bounces back.
You are inquisitive, stubborn and willful. You are fiercely independent. You are compassionate, loving and kind. You always think of others. You wear your heart on your sleeve and are often guided by your emotions and I want you to know that it’s okay to be guided by those feelings. You are brave and strong, you are smart and you are, at times, hilariously funny. Our personalities clash so often because we are so very similar. I was once a strong and stubborn child too. I have let myself be guided by emotions, instinct and impulse. There are times where I’ve felt I have failed you, but seeing the way you are, I know I haven’t. Not really. My hope is that you never think I failed you.
You will make bad decisions. You will go through hardships and heartbreak. You will be challenged, tested and trialed throughout your life but I will be there every step of the way. I want you to make choices for yourself because they are absolutely the best decisions for you. I will guide you, I will help you but I will not make those choices for you.
When it comes to making decisions about how you want your education to progress I want you to make the decisions based on your interests. I want you to do this because at sixteen, you might have an idea of a career or lifestyle you want but know that it might change. And it is completely okay for that to change. Play to your strengths and choose subjects and topics that you will fundamentally love learning about because they will get you further than doing something you have to do.
Being guided by a want, a need, a passion will give you more drive in your life than doing something you have to do. So if you still want to be a dancer at sixteen, if dance is your love and passion then work hard at it every single day and do it. If you want to continue to play with makeup then make that your number one focus. If you want to explore sciences and go on to become a doctor then do it. Follow your heart, follow what makes you happy, follow your strength and joy. I will not tell you what you should or shouldn’t do with your life. Your happiness is all I want for you.
So to ensure you live a wonderful life based on choices that truly work for you, your passions and your principles, I will parent you. I will not always be your best friend. There will be times when you think I am hard, or mean, or unfair. My hope for you is that my parenting will teach you that nothing in this life is free, you have to work hard for what you want. I hope that my parenting will teach you that if you have a passion for something, if you have true belief in yourself, your strengths and your abilities then you can turn them into a whole world of possibilities. I hope that on our travels together as a family you will learn how exciting other cultures can be and see the raw beauty that is available to us. I hope that you will stand up for what you believe in and will never let anyone push you around. I hope that you will continue to be strong and stubborn and turn that into perseverance. I hope the stability you have at home will lead to you understanding that you can achieve so much with consistency.
Parenting is not easy. As you grow we will argue, we will make each other cry. We will talk and we will learn from each other. We will be each others strength as we have always been. Eventually, we will be great friends, but I will always be your parent and you will always be my little girl.
I hope that you will be happy.