A Letter to my Daughter
I figured I’d write this letter for you having not yet met you, because I imagine that when I do I won’t remember all things I need to say.
There are a few things I wish my father had told me before he died, and many things I know I should have asked him. And if I’ve learned anything it would be to seize every moment, because we’re all fleeting— some simply faster than others.
My parents are so valuable, and unfortunately, it wasn’t until I lost my father, your grandfather that I was reminded of that. My mom, your grandmother, is everything to me now. She’s my light, my lion, and my first love. She’s the strongest, the most positive, most independent person I’ve ever met. I’ve watched her survive so many crashes, so many traumas. And even now, I imagine she has forgotten all the things she imagined she would say to me once I was born. You see, having a baby is very different from imagining one… well I imagine that it is.
My love, this one is for you.
When you ask me, “Mama, what should I be when I grow up?”
I’ll say, “Whatever makes you happy.” I’ll tell you, “The only thing I could ever tell you to be is to be kind; Your grandmother, is a lion and even she knows when not to bite. People are delicate, even when they’re mean. They’re hatred and unhappiness are not good enough reasons for yours. Keep your teeth in you mouth, don’t go around leaving scars.”
When you ask me, “Mama, how do I get a boy to like me?”
I’ll say, “Ambition is one of the sexiest qualities; Kindness, independence and optimism are very endearing. You want to attract a man? Attract yourself first, because self-love is essential to every relationship; most importantly, to the one that you have with yourself. “Till Death do us Part” is never more true than it is when you marry yourself, which you do, inevitably, at birth. I’ll tell you, “A man with an herb garden never searches the grocery story for basil or rosemary,” and you’ll stare at me incredulously. I’ll smile and say, “Those who can create love for themselves have no problem finding it.”
And assume, when you grow older you’ll ask me, “How do I know when a relationship is toxic?”
And I’ll tell you, “You’ll know the moment you leave them; your exhaustion or your growing love will tell you. You see, toxic people poison you more and more overtime. At first it will feel like a pinprick— something that simply comes with picking roses— but then you’ll leave with gashes, sores and scabs. You’re little fire will rise up and consume you, and before you know it you’ll be turned to ash.” I’ll tell you, “Love is never toxic, don’t believe the trendy teen dramas, if its right you’ll feel it. You’ll feel filled and not emptied. Love is kind, love uplifts, love isn’t jealous or hateful even on a bad day. Love is loyal, love doesn’t suffocate you with guilt or take away your freedom, it roams with you, runs with you. Love never beats you down, it builds you up. But, my dear, its one of those things you have to experience— words never do it justice. I think that’s why my mom, your grandmother, left so many questions unanswered: she remembered asking her mother and ignoring the answers to run off and find them herself.
With that in mind,
I’ll say be kind, be bold, be better.
Life is too short for sadness.