I recently came across a post by Lisa of Mommy OM titled, 25 things I want my daughter to know. As the mother of a blossoming eight year-old, I was suddenly struck by all the things I want to instill in my own daughter about how special she is, the importance of being true to your heart, how to be a good friend, and so much more. A mother’s greatest aspiration is to see her children lead happy, rich, fulfilling lives. As I watched my little girl drift off to sleep last night, my mind was filled with all the wishes I hold in my heart for her happiness. If I could, I would giftwrap the world for her. I would create a new world designed to delight her. There is nothing that makes me feel happier or more content than to see joy on my child’s face.
I know that I cannot (and should not) make my daughter’s life perfect. I know that eventually she will venture out into the world on her own. She will have to face her own dragons and learn many things the hard way. I know that most of what I tell her – even the things I might whisper earnestly in the quiet dark of her room while she sleeps – will remain unheard and unheeded for a very long time. Even tonight, as she prepared for bed, she chastised me for not taking her anguish over a small blemish seriously. If only she knew how clearly I remember feeling those same anxieties myself at her age. But it will be, I think, a long time before we are able to truly empathize with one another. For now, our worlds are still very far apart – separated by a generation and a lifetime of experiences.
Even so, there are things I want my daughter to always remember. I will tell her these things – today, tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. I will repeat them over and over until they echo so clearly in her head that they might be mistaken for her own thoughts. These are the things that I believe will help her create her happiness – grow it in her own heart instead of ceaselessly searching for it in other people and places and pursuits.
- You are special.
- There is no one else exactly like you in the whole world. Cherish your unique self.
- You deserve love, admiration, honesty, respect, and second chances.
- You have the right to use your voice – any time, any place, on any topic.
- You are beautiful.
- Beauty is as beauty does and while physical beauty is fleeting, a beautiful soul lasts forever.
- True friends make you laugh and feel good about yourself.
- True love makes you want to be a better person.
- Girls can do anything boys can do … and some things boys can’t.
- Magic is real – you just have to know where to look for it.
- Taking time for yourself is important – be your own best friend.
- You can always come home. Always.
- You can tell me anything.
- You don’t always have to follow the rules, but …
- … always follow your heart.
- You are a creative genius and your creations are your gift to the world. Give them freely and joyfully.
- There’s no such thing as failure. Learn from every experience.
- You are loved more than you will know until you have your own child.
- Anything is possible if you believe.
- There are few things a hot mug of tea and a good book won’t fix.
- Go after your passion with a vengeance, but …
- … remember to slow down and savor the journey along the way.
- Sometimes it’s okay to eat dessert first.
- Don’t wait for things to be “perfect” before you do something.
- Keep your eye on the Big Picture, but revel in the details.
- Trust yourself. You are smart enough, strong enough, and brave enough.
- When in doubt, grow something.
- It’s okay if you don’t know the answers. Sometimes it’s a better place to start from.
- The Golden Rule is the easiest standard by which to measure any choice.
- Travel is the best teacher, but always be safe and be wise. The world is a beautiful place, but it is not without its sharp edges.
- Never compromise your beliefs – not for stature, approval, or anything else.
- Manners count.
- Learn to laugh at yourself and life will suddenly seem much easier.
- It’s okay to be fragile sometimes. Life can be like that.
- I am always so proud of you.
- I will always be with you. Even when I’m gone I will be holding you in my heart and wrapping my love around you.
What would you like your child to always remember?
Image Credit: Louise Docker