Friday, June 19, 2015

A letter to my girl

An open letter to my daughter.

Hello beautiful one.  

Good morning baby.  How are you?  I have been thinking a lot about you lately.  You turned 5 in March and I cannot imagine my baby being five. Still, 2.5 months later it's a head trip.  For a long time I wondered if you'd have a sister to navigate some of the trickier parts of womanhood with, but Mommy is not producing anymore siblings for you, (sorry, really I'm not at all sorry) so unless you gain a step-sister; I think you're probably SOL.   I love my little tribe of three and how you function as a unit.  (Although the bickering, for real, please knock it off.)  By the way, you're rocking (exploiting) the "baby of the family" position just fine.  That being said if you're not going to have a sister to figure out some of these things with so I'm going to make sure you know some things about how to be a woman in this world. 

I have a few more years before you hate me for saying this, so I'm going to get it in while I still can.  You are a mini-me, little lady.  You are made of the same resilient stuff I am.  The kind of fire and heat that doesn't burn out over time but instead has an unlimited fuel source that comes from within.  Baby girl, it's beautiful thing honey.  Not everyone will get you as you grow up.  There are those that will tell you that you're too intense.  Don't listen to them sweetheart.  Your fire scares them and makes them jealous.  They want to tame it or take it.  They wish they had the strength to be as undefeatable as you are.  They wish they could figure out how you speak your truth without appearing to fear the consequences.  They wish they knew where that passion within you came from, the passion that drives you to excel at whatever you put your mind to.  That nature of yours that will cause you to champion the cause of the underdog or never know grades less than a 4.0 or swim faster and run farther than the boys.  I'm not sure what you will set your mind to do, but it will be remarkable - it will intimidate some.  They will try to kill it.  Don't let them kill it.  It's beauty.  It's rare.  It's gold in a world that's made up of dark, ashy coal.  

Perhaps, it is your Irish stock that makes you this way, or that one strawberry-blonde lock that runs through your brunette hair that signifies the fire contained within, but it is there.  I see it burn and flash in those eyes every time you tell me "no."  I see it burn brightly when your brothers attempt to tell you that they're in charge.  It'll burn even more intensely when some idiot tells you later in life that women need to submit.  I have pity for him in advance. Try not to kill him with that icy glare you have, or take too much pleasure in highlighting his idiocy publicly.  

I had to learn not to do that, little one, not to use my intellect as a weapon.  Or my body, or my fire.  You will need to learn those things as well.  It can be tempting sweetheart, 2015 or 1985 or 2045; it will always feel like as a woman we have less power in this world.  It's tempting to exploit the power we do have.  We are born with the innate knowledge of how to do that.  Little lady, please let me caution you not to.  Although bringing a man to his knees with your glance and walk can be fun, it's not a sport and it is beneath you.  

There are other things that you must learn.  You have a sixth sense about you, we all do.  It's a blessing and I want you to promise me.  I want you to swear that you will not ignore it.  Ever.  If the back of your spine tingles or you get covered in goosebumps, or what feels like an icy breeze washes over you in the heat of July.  Eowyn promise me you'll get the hell out of wherever you are.  You can call me, at any time, any hour no matter where you are.  I won't ask any questions.  I won't care how you're dressed.  Or where you are.  I will come for you.  Let me tell you about this cruel harsh world we live in.  Ignoring your sixth sense can be detrimental, you could end up compromising your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.  I don't want that for you.  Please take my word and just trust me on this.  Your momma has lived through making this mistake.  It took a very long time to heal from the errors in my judgement.  

There's another lesson you need to learn.  Although I would love to spare you the actual life experience of figuring this out, chances are you're not going to take my word for it and you're going to insist that you know better than me.  Nonetheless, let me caution you against listening to the charming, smooth talking male that pursues you.  "His words are so sweet, he seems so genuine.  Nevermind that he says he's going to do things and doesn't followthrough", you will tell me.  "He meant to and it's the thought that counts, Momma."  Ummm, no baby girl, it is most certainly not.  When you enter this minefield called dating, when you start to desire that life-long love that makes your heart flutter.  Remember ONE THING, people tell you who they are all the time... with their ACTIONS.  Sure you can feel the butterflies, and rainbows, the sparks when someone touches you.  But girl, listen up, watch him!  Watch what he does.  How does he treat those he says he cares about.  Does he show up when he said he would?  Is he habitually late?  Does he only text or call you only when it's convenient for him?  Girlfriend, you are not an afterthought.  And I promise you if you allow yourself to be treated that way, you will piss your momma off.  You should be a top priority in any man's life if you're going to allow him to inhabit yours.  The second you sense that you have slipped off his priority list, stop making excuses and insist on better for yourself.  You are your own champion.  You are the one who has to use your voice to say what you won't tolerate and how you expect to be treated.  Don't leave anyone guessing, speak your truth.  

What most women forget is that we make the rules.  This isn't a 'women are better than men' thing.  That doesn't have a damn thing to do with it.  This is a fact.  A good man wants to be with you.  He expects you to tell him how he can make that happen regularly, if you don't tell him what's required he will assume that there are no rules.  He will believe that he can do whatever he wants and you'll just be there, accessible, available anytime it's convenient for him.  Do not do that.  The men worthy of your time will listen to what you need from them in order to let them inhabit your presence regularly.  If they want to negotiate your boundaries or expectations - adios.  No thanks.  Wait for the one who doesn't do that to you.  The one who treasures you.  The one who looks at you like you have hung the stars in the sky.  The man who listens and respects what you have to say.  I'm not sure what your expectations will be, but you should have some and they should not involve you dropping everything and running to some guy just because he decided he wants to see you now.  

You will not be one of many, no way.  I once had a boyfriend who used to refer to me as his Number 1.  He did this because when we started dating he was still seeing other people but I was his favorite.  No way, I am not one of many and neither will you be, whether you're in the number 1 spot or not.  If he isn't sure he wants to give up the others to be with you now, he won't give up the others down the road either.  Remember you make the rules.  

Unfortunately chica you will be catcalled, men will say hideous, vile things to you, in public, online, privately.  They will probably explicitly tell you what they want to do to you.  This is the one exception when you may absolutely publicly humiliate them.  Go for it.  Don't ever let anyone speak to you in a manner which you find repulsive.  Men can be pigs.  Don't keep your mouth shut and tolerate it.  If you need some help with phrases on how to achieve the desired reaction I have a whole closet full.  You set the rules in how you will be treated.  You do not have to put up with this just because that's the way men are.  Nope.  You sure don't.

Baby, there are 1000 different ways to have a romantic relationship with another person.  Hopefully you find one eventually that is worthy of your time, your heart and your affection.  But before you set off hunting to find that in this world make it your agenda to see this world.  To do something.  To become a person you respect.  Before a man, become the Eowyn you want to be.  That way, when it's time to join forces with someone else you won't find your identity meshing with his.  You'll know exactly who you are and the two of you will be even stronger together.    

I believe in you.  I'm already blessed to call you mine.  None of this is easy, but it all becomes easier by using our brains and having standards.  You got this.

I love you girly,

Your momma.

The previous letter to my sons can be found here

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