About a year ago I started an email account for Edyn. I only shared it with my family members, so that over the years we will be able to write her letters and send her pictures or videos, and on her wedding day, as part of her gift, I will share the email and password with her, and she will have a collection of memories and love notes spanning her entire life. I plan to do this for all future children as well, because I think there is nothing more special in life than memories.
One of my more recent letters to her was something that as a mother, I not only needed to say, but I needed to promise. And I know that the day will come when she will need to hear it.
Do you remember being a teenager? Did you ever say the infamous words “you just don’t understand me!” to your parents, too? Did you ever need to know they accepted you for all of quirks instead of trying to straighten you out? I did. Call it teenage angst or whatever you will, but I remember those feelings so clearly. I remember not liking the same things other kids my age liked. I remember feeling like there was something wrong with me because I had a different way of thinking. I remember trying to hide certain aspects of myself because if other people thought it was weird, well then I must be weird…and no teenager ever wants to feel weird. Right?! It took me a really long time to understand that those ways of thinking, those quirks I had, those interests of mine that not everyone shared, that’s what made me, ME.
I pray the day doesn’t come, but I fear it will; the day that my own children have those same thoughts. The day that they begin to believe that the opinions of other people is actually worth changing for. I think the most important thing you can be in this world is yourself. If it weren’t for people who weren’t afraid to be themselves, well..we wouldn’t be where we are, right? So, as a parent I have the responsibility to teach my children what a gift it is to be confident in who you are and what you bring to the table.
Without any further blabbering, let me get on with my letter. Simple and short, but hopefully everything she will need.
My promise to you.
If you have blue hair, if you want to wear rain boots with your Sunday dress, if you like to wear a braid in your hair every day of the month because it makes you feel like a princess, I’ll still love you.
If you choose Tim Burton over Pixar, or if you choose Disney over anything else, if you wear two different socks, if you want to listen to music I don’t understand, if you want to scream and laugh in the same breath because sometimes life doesn’t make sense, I’ll still love you.
If you’re nothing like me, if you’re exactly like me, I’ll still love you.
This life was meant for you. YOU are meant for this world. To gain faith, to lose yourself, to laugh as hard as you want for as long as you want. To have friends, to BE a friend. To feel love and know loss. To be a princess, to be the dancing queen or the beautiful wall flower. To be whoever you are, wherever you are. To be you. To love you. Take it all in baby, you were made for this.