I’ve recently seen these posts circulating around Facebook “ten things I want my daughter to know”. It’s totally sweet and pulled my heartstrings as I skimmed the words full of cliches…
For a hot minute I considered reposting, but then I thought – those things aren’t completely what I want to pass on to my daughter. Those things aren’t the ten life lessons I’ve learned that I want her to know. So I decided to write my own.
So, my sweet Abigail….right now, in this very stage in our lives, these are the ten things I want you to know….
1. First, and most importantly – you are so loved beyond measure. There are days where I feel like if you don’t go to bed I’m going to lose my ever loving mind – and there are days where as a mom I think “why did I want kids?” – but then you hug me, giggle, smile or draw me a picture and I realize in that moment exactly why I wanted kids. Because the love I have for you – the love I had for you before you were even placed on my arms – is too big to even put into words. You and your brothers will always and Forever be the best thing(s) I’ve ever done.
2. Be kind to people. There will absolutely be some people in life who rub you the wrong way. You won’t like them. That’s okay. But get over yourself. Be kind. Love people. Make people laugh, let someone cut in front of you at the grocery store. Make dinner for a friend who just had a baby. Offer to babysit for a single mom. Do good. NEVER throw people under the bus to get ahead. Have good INTEGRITY and do good things. Just because you want to make people happy, not because you want something out of it. One of my biggest joys in life is giving to others. Maybe it’s selfish because it brings such happiness to my heart offering a kind gesture to someone who needs it. It will come around to you one day – but don’t do it because of that. Be a good heart.
3. Always forgive and don’t hold grudges. One day, I’ll explain this in a lot More detail to you and how this has impacted my life in the biggest way imaginable. There are things in my life I shelter you from – I will tell you these things as you are older. One day when I decide to tell you – I pray you will not be angry or hurt that I kept them from you for as long as I did. When that time comes and when I tell you – I hope you’ll understand and you’ll learn the lesson through me – to always forgive and love as it is your last day.
4. You are gonna make it. You are going to have fights with friends. Unhealthy people in your life. Bad boyfriends. Fights with us as your parents. You’re gonna look at your reflection in the mirror one day and think it’s not pretty enough, or skinny enough, or tall enough. (You’ll be wrong) You are going to be embarrassed in public, struggle a time or two in school, not make the team, but you WILL make it in life. You’ll be here on the other side one day giving your daughter the same “ten things I want you to know” words.
5. Work hard. Always. I didn’t get to where I am Today in my career and in life by being lazy. Clean toilets, babysit, wait tables – go to college classes during the day and report to work at night. Drink a lot of coffee and rest when you can. The key to success is hard work – but another secret is to not let anyone know how hard it is for you and how hard you struggle. Never make excuses and just do it.
6. Marry a man like your dad. Your dad is one of a kind. I tease him often because he’s not the most romantic and believe me – he has his faults – but my Gosh does he love me and you guys. He is loyal and caring and hard working. He would jump in and take any of our pain away in a heartbeat and not think twice. Marry a man who is your best friend, who you can bicker with and yell to, in order to blow off steam, but seconds later act like nothing happened. Marry someone who will laugh at your jokes and not think you’re crazy when you sing and dance like a fool around the kitchen. Marry a man who will give you the last bite of his ice cream even when he wants it or will be pissed at you for asking – but will make a midnight Taco Bell run if he knows you really want it. Marry man who isn’t afraid to tell you that you are wrong or irrational even when you don’t want to hear it – but loves you through it anyway. Marry a man just like your dad and never settle for less.
7. Surround yourself with people you can just be yourself with. I will never be able to tell you how important this is. You are so much like me, my daughter. You are hard on yourself, have anxiety about so many things, want people to like you and approve of you. You are strong willed, vocal and independent yet self-conscious and over critical of yourself. You’re gonna be hard enough of yourself so you absolutely don’t need people in your life who make that worse. As you grow up, be with people who don’t try to overshadow you. Who don’t always have to wear makeup or the latest fashion trends. Have friends who don’t live to make the perfect image for themselves. Those people – aren’t your people.
8. Try everything at least once and don’t give up. This is advice I wish I can say I followed. My bike story, it’s not a secret. My training wheels went off as a child, my bike fell over and I never got back on as I was scared of falling. To this day I wish I would have gotten back up and lived my childhood without fear and on two wheels! I watch you ride up and down the street and my heart beams with pride. I know, every child your age should know how to ride a bike – but to me – it’s bigger than that. It’s you going for it. It’s your determination. It’s your ability to do more than I Could…. Keep doing that.
You may fall…..but you may fly.
9. Love your siblings. Always. One day, your brothers are going to be all you have.
One day, when shit really hits the fan, you guys are gonna have each other. No amount of money or “things” will ever replace a relationship and the love you guys share. Love them, love their wives, love their babies….
10. Last but not least….trust me. Always. No matter what decisions you make, no matter what you’ve done or where you are – I will always – ALWAYS – save you first and ask question later. I will Always answer the phone at 2am and say “I’m on my way”. I will always be your safety net. Never feel you can’t tell Me things. As you get older and the “discipline” fades because I know you will turn into an amazing woman – know I will be your best friend. I will be your advocate and will be your biggest cheerleader in life. I will Never ask a question of you that I cannot brace myself enough for the answer. Your dad and I will ALWAYS be here for you no matter what. Come to me, always. Let me love you through whatever it is.
So, my girl….these ten things are in this stage of our lives I want you to know. Nothing super cliche and mushy – yet important for you to hear.
You, my daughter have a big beautiful life ahead of you. (Here come the cliches) The world is yours – and I am so incredibly lucky God picked me to be the one to lead you thru this wild and crazy journey!! My final word for this blog, Abigail… Never look back my love – you’re not going that way!!