Letter to My Girl

27 Sep

Dear Daughter,

Did you wonder last night what I was trying to say? Between the beeps on your iPad and the plucks you made on the thick strings of your cello in that half hour we had together – the half hour when we weren’t eating dinner and you weren’t getting ready for bed – did you wonder what I meant by, “I know”?

Did you notice when I said it, or were you focused on the buttered popcorn we ate for dessert?

I am writing this letter to make my meaning plain.

No, I don’t expect you to read it, not now when you’re nine. I will tell you aloud when we have more attention and time.

What I meant. What I mean. What I know.

I know Ana is your friend, your good friend. I know you like to play dress-up and practice who-knows-what-that-I-won’t-like, and talk about her boy crushes and gossip together about girls and boys in your class. I know some of the kids like to say she’s bad. I know she’s also your friend.

I want to know her better because she is your friend.

I know you’re not fond of math.

I know you don’t want to be the shortest kid in your class.

I know you love Mama and me and you’re glad we’re your parents, but that doesn’t always stop you from getting a sinking feeling when someone recognizes you as the kid in fourth grade with two moms. I know you defend us against kids who say ill-informed things. I know there are times, too, when you stay quiet. I know you can’t stand the horrible guilt you feel when you don’t speak your mind.

I know you love art. I see you developing an artist’s eye.

I know your desire to belong is why you joined your friends’ conversation about the teenage boy we saw wearing short shorts and pink shoes. I know, but it doesn’t mean I won’t call you out for suggesting boys can’t wear pink.

I know you love where you were born.

I know you take pride in your birth country and more pride in the country you live in now. I know you feel a divided loyalty sometimes – tiny maybe, barely a flicker – deep inside. I fear it will grow as you mature, and I want it not to. I want to protect you from this, from feeling the need to decide. You don’t need to decide. You can love and claim both places.

No, I don’t know how. Not yet. I hope we can learn together, as we’ve learned so many things.

I know Karyn is your true home still. I know you will share with her what you will share with no one else – not even Ana – even if you don’t know that yet yourself. I know that when it comes time to decide, if it ever comes time to decide, you will make the right choice – even if you have to try and try and try again.

I know you want to make us proud. I know you want to make yourself proud, too.

I know you wish I didn’t know some of these things.

I know you love me. I know I love you.

I know you care for your friends and family. I know you care for yourself. I want you to keep caring, keep loving.

This love and care will take us from here to there. From nine to grown. Happy. Full with life.

I love you very much, my little Peanut, every minute of every day, every step of the way.

With all my heart,

Mom

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15 Responses to “Letter to My Girl”

  1. Lindsay September 27, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    Beautiful letter. Thank you for sharing it.

    • RoiAnn October 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      Thank you for reading, and making yourself known 🙂

  2. outrunning the storm September 27, 2013 at 8:01 am #

    beautiful

    • RoiAnn October 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

      Thank you. Big hug.

  3. Sixtine et Victoire September 27, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    This is a very touching letter to your daughter. She is one lucky girl!

    • RoiAnn October 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

      I’m a lucky mom, too, to be able to learn so much from this witty young thing. I sure hope we continue the co-learning far into and beyond her teens 🙂

  4. soudary September 27, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    RoiAnn,
    Such a beautiful letter to your daughter. Relationships are complex and often we don’t get to share every thought we have with our loved ones in any given day, week… year. I especially like that you begin with all the things that are known, versus not.
    Soudary

    • RoiAnn October 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

      Thank you, Soudary. I love how I see you parent – and I love that it’s the complexities here that resonate with you. I spend so much time paring down what I mean to say – especially lately, and especially with my sweet precocious girl – but it is the whole of our relationship that fills me – no matter where I shine the light in any given week. I need this reminder. ❤

  5. Anonymous September 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    Wow. you are a great mom. thank you.

    • RoiAnn October 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

      Or maybe I just think great mom thoughts 😉 Hopefully, some of these ideas find their way into my daily parenting practice. Some days, I feel they do. Some days, I don’t. But that’s parenting right? Thank you for the support.

  6. joy September 27, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    So beautiful.

    • RoiAnn October 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

      Thank you, my friend. xo

  7. flowerwords October 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    Beautiful. Thank you for the tears. Lucky, lucky girl you have. The world needs more yous ❤

    • RoiAnn October 23, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

      Wow. Thank you. I’m sending you a great big hug!

  8. Tamela April 18, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    Very nice write-up. I absolutely love this site.
    Keep it up!

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