What I Would Like To Tell My Daughter
I am a mother to two ridiculously handsome boys. I am not currently pregnant…that I know of, and my husband and I aren’t planning on trying for another baby for at least a year. I sincerely have no desire to rush our next pregnancy. I mean, it would be lovely to not rent my body out to another human being for a while, no matter how awesome of a Property Manager I may be. That being said, I would absolutely LOVE to have a daughter.
After sharing my testimony on the World Wide Web, I have been getting hit with waves of shame. Shame, you might ask? Yes…shame over my life prior to beginning my walk with Christ. I will catch a glimpse of a photo, stumble across a note, or hear an old song — suddenly, I am transported back to a time when I once lived a life based on doing what made me feel good, instead of what was right.
Before I travel too far, I am interrupted by Noah running through the living room with a towel over his head or Emmett spitting up on my shirt. My train of thought then takes a turn down a different path, and I start thinking about my children and the kind of lives that they will lead. I think about whether Noah will want to play in the NFL or be a professional golfer, and if Emmett will decide to be President or a physician (I clearly have high aspirations for my children), and then I start to wonder about our fictitious daughter. Who will she be? How will her life story go?
Five minutes into this trail of thought, I start to feel a pit in my stomach. Mostly, because I remember who I used to be. I work over in my mind what I would like to tell her, in hopes that she takes my advice and avoids similar missteps — and because I seem to still suffer from pregnancy brain, I better write it down.
Enjoy your youth.
Childhood only comes around once – and it is brief and fleeting. Sure, getting to watch an R-rated movie and having no bedtime sounds like a blast; but along with these fun rights of passage, comes great responsibility. Like having a mortgage, paying taxes, and the dreaded trip to the grocery store. I dream about the days when my biggest concerns were centered around what I would wear on the first day of school and if I was going to make the cheerleading squad. This is the one time in your life where you can live in total innocence, completely untainted by the world around you. I encourage you to relish in your youth – run through the sprinklers, play dress up, and take that extra nap. Don’t go through the days wishing to be older…trust me, you have your whole life for that.
I have seen you checking out that tattoo on my lower back; the one I got the minute I turned 18. Gosh…I thought I was so cool – so cool, in fact, that I was back within the week to get another. Let me tell you sister, it’s permanent. Right along with that inappropriate selfie you plan to send to this week’s boyfriend. Don’t do it. For the love of all things holy, do not, I repeat, DO NOT send that picture. I don’t care if Tiffany sends sexual selfie’s to Justin – you’re not Tiffany. You may think something might be cool or fun in the moment, but I’m here to tell you, it’s permanent. You can’t take back a racy photo, text conversation, or email. It’s out there forever. 10 years from now, that “tramp stamp” won’t look so cute when you are bending over to pick up your toddler; neither will that tasteless selfie that made its way to the internet because Justin was a total tool. So let me put it like this, the next time you make a decision, ask yourself, “Would I do this if my father were here?” If the answer is no, then don’t do it; plain and simple. You’ll thank me later, I promise.
Guard your heart.
Please don’t misunderstand, guarding your heart and being guarded are two different things. I want you to love life, engage in it, enjoy it to its fullest. I want you to walk through this life knowing exactly who you are and what you stand for, and that starts with being heavily rooted in Jesus. You are going to experience many life altering situations and encounter a variety of individuals over the course of your time on this earth. Some days it will be difficult to not get swept up in the “now” and carried downstream, other days you’ll breeze by – but that all starts with developing your relationship with Christ. Something I still have to work on daily.
It can wait.
Yup, I’m going there. Sex. IT CAN WAIT. I know it may feel as though you can’t live without Bobby from calculus class, but honey, if Bobby loves you enough to take your virginity, then he loves you enough to wait. Once you give that part of yourself away, you can never get it back. Now-a-days, sex may seem like it’s no bigger of a deal than deciding where to go for lunch; and some people may even treat it like that sushi buffet down the street. But guess what, those people only feel crappy after they leave. They may feel satisfied in the moment, but later they walk out of that restaurant with stomach aches and a potential case of food poisoning. Believe me, you want more out of your sex life than a regretful run-in with a bad sushi buffet; and the only way to achieve that, is to wait.
I cannot begin to express the importance of traveling. Traveling has a way of changing you that words simply can’t describe. I am not talking about going to South Padre for spring break, I am talking about the kind of adventures that impact your life forever. The type of excursions that allow you to witness unspeakable beauty — journeys that take your breath away and leave you speechless. The kind that brings you face-to-face with the world in its most precious form. I can assure you, there will never be a day that you look back and regret your travels.
Growing up, I wish I would have been encouraged to do this more often. In fact, it wasn’t until I met your father that I truly started dreaming big. There is not one idea that I have brought to his attention that he has made me feel as though it was out of reach. Want to know why? Because NOTHING is unattainable if you want it bad enough; but you’ve got to dream BIG. I am talking bigger than big! If there is something out there that you want to achieve, then girlfriend, go after it! I’m going to be right here cheering you on every step of the way. Just remember, no one is going to dream big for you, you have to do it yourself.
Keep a journal.
This little pearl of wisdom is more important than you may realize. One day, you are going to have children, and when you do, they are going to suck all of the brain power out of your head (I promise they are worth it). Along with taking your ability to form normal sentences, your memories will fade with time. So write them down. Keep a journal with you constantly. I used to be really great at writing down everything, but over time I have gotten careless with this habit. Eventually, you are going to sit down with a cup of coffee and pour yourself over old pictures and childhood memorabilia; you will be filled with all types of emotions and thoughts. But there is nothing quite like finding an old journal and re-reading the words you thought were so important, you just had to scribble them on paper. I’ve got to tell you, magical things happen within the written word — so keep a journal.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, I will leave you with this. Go, live life, make up your own rules and then pass them on to your daughter. I can’t wait to see who you become and what you do with your life. Whatever you decide to do, I know it will be amazing!