A love letter to my 20-year-old daughter
No, you didn’t stumble into a rift in the time-space continuum. My daughter hasn’t aged 15 years since my last post. Although it certainly feels like she’s started on being a teenager early. Some rough stuff today, and lately, made me think of writing to my daughter of what kind of woman I hope all this parenting will turn her out to be.
Tonight we had another fight. This involved cleaning something (as it always seems to), your room to be specific. We both yelled, you got spanked, you cried, and I cried after you went to bed and felt like the most horrible mother since time began.
My dear, I love you so much my heart would break. You are one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. You are sweet and thoughtful, but vivacious and feisty at the same time. I love how your bob shows off your perfect face and allows us to see all your many moods. I secretly adore your haphazard fashion sense, (no matter how much your dad complains) and constant ingenuity. I’m a little jealous of your innate ability to see through a problem to its solution. I wish I had your ability for socializing. You will talk to anyone, anywhere and think everyone is your friend. You are remarkably self-confident.
You remind me so much of myself in your stubbornness, your sense of always being right. And you are so incredibly smart. I get a thrill everytime you grasp something that I hadn’t figured you could learn yet. Heck, you want me to teach you Latin. Although, you seem to think you won’t have to learn English if I do. Stinker.
I know I can be hard on you and expect a lot. But I know that you can do so much now and and in the future. I want you to be better than I have been or ever will be.
Granted, I can be less than patient, and I am an imperfect role model. And a lot gets put upon you as the oldest. Especially with my medical issues. Allow me to thank you for being my hands and legs when I’ve needed the help. I may have been grumpy because I didn’t feel good, but I really did appreciate it.
I hope that you’ll look back fondly at my attempts to teach you not to snitch food from the kitchen and why we should keep a clean room as you go to college and put them to practice. Believe me, nothing makes people unhappier than a messy roommate. And think of all the character-building you got out of it!
When I fussed at you when you were making the same mistake over and over, I’m wasn’t being a helicopter parent (whatever that is). I just know that you are capable of everything I ask of you, if you push yourself. I want you to become even more wonderful than you are now, and go out to dazzle the world. Not with my meager parenting skills, no. The world will be dazzled and amazed by You.
My Freckle-face Strawberry.
I guarantee you, everyone out there can’t imagine what will happen when you come striding into their lives. And, as cliche as it sounds, you WILL change the world. You will change it in a way that only you can. And I’ll sit back and think how lucky I am to have you as my daughter, and how well you turned out despite me.
Thank you for putting up with me, my sweet girl. Have patience with your silly mother, and just see what you can do.
I’ll be standing in the wings, watching.