Dear Daughter, This is Why I Pray For You.

Dear darling girl,

I pray for you.

I pray for you differently than how I pray for your brother. I don’t pray for you more or less, but differently. See, you’re more fragile than he is. You’re softer and your future scares me the older you get. I see girls who were once me, living a faster life than I did and that’s really saying something. I rebelled in a big way and the blood that runs through your veins is from me. I see myself in you every day. Your stubbornness, your rebelliousness, your side-eyed glances to see if I’m watching you.

I worry for you because girls can be mean. Girls can be ruthless, especially when they’re young. Insecurity is deafening and it can beat a person up on the inside. You’re trying to discover yourself, even as young as you are. It doesn’t get better the older you get, but it seems to get more tolerable.

You’ve always been sweet. So sweet that I want to bite off a piece just to have that goodness that runs through you. You like to play with everyone and I’ve already seen how rejection effects you–the look on your face when someone is mean to you. It breaks off a small part of me each time, and since my heart is your tiny body beating outside of my chest, the pieces of me that fall apart make up you.

When you were a baby, I hardly let anyone near you. It’s not that I didn’t want to share you, it’s that I’ve always wanted to preserve your innocence as long as possible. If that meant shielding you from the world, I was going to do it.

What no one understands when they see my eyes watch you is that my love for you runs so deep and so vast. I wish I could always be with you, explaining why sometimes. Life just hurts and growing up is really, really hard to do.

You’re only 4 now and you don’t start school until next year, but it’s already hard for me. This will be the last year before your life changes dramatically. Ideals that aren’t yours will be pushed on you, and opinions that you and I once shared will find differences. Your mind will mold quickly and shadows of your tiny, bubbly self will start changing into something else. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be the sweet, loving, YOU that exists today, but you will grow up, and you will discover your own self. I have to learn to accept that it may be different than my expectations of you. 

So, darling, this is why I pray for you:

I pray that you’ll be resilient. I pray that rejection does find you for the sole reason of learning how to internalize the hurt and make something better come out of it. I pray that you won’t conform and will always color outside the lines. I want your likes to always be your likes, and that the fear of being laughed at does not damper your imagination. I want you to hold on; I want you just to hold on – that you don’t rush to grow up quickly like I did, because childhood really is the best part of life, but it’s also the quickest. I promise you, baby, the freedom of adulthood comes at a cost. Right now, you’re free to run through the wildflowers,and even be one without judgement. I pray that you remain carefree as long as you can. Mostly, I pray for us to grow together, but also to separate.

And for myself? I pray for the strength to guide you in the right direction, while also having the peace to let you spread your wings without me.

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