To My Darling Daughter,
It seems only fitting to me that on International Women’s Day I should write to you, the single most important female in my life. You will, one day, be a woman and I hope that you have daughters too, for having a daughter has been the single most rewarding experience of my life.
You are my world.
I cannot express my gratitude at being blessed with a daughter who has the kindest heart of anyone I have ever met, a daughter who carries the weight of the world with her and wants to make it all better. Seeing the sadness in your eyes when you think of those less fortunate than yourself breaks my heart and mends it all at once when I see your determination to make a difference to the world. Quite remarkable for someone of less than five years old.
You have filled my world with laughter, happiness, dancing, art, singing, stubbornness, worry, frustration, wonder, joy, sadness. You make me feel in a world that is so often numbed by external forces, and for that I cannot thank you enough.
It’s my job, as a mother and a woman to make sure that you know certain things and while I may not know everything just yet, my 28 years of life have taught me the following:
Never allow yourself to feel owned by anyone or anything. You belong to you and you alone. Always take the time to find joy in the smallest things. The light of the moon, the miracles of nature, a smutty joke. It’s all good. You can be anything you want to be. Your Dad and I will always be here for you. We’re your biggest fans and you are our single greatest love. Beauty is whatever you want it to be and you can see it everywhere if you only look hard enough. Friends are important. Never take anything for granted. Be happy.
As a woman, you may find that you’re underestimated of overlooked. Being underestimated is just fine. Enjoy the look on people’s faces when it dawns on them that you are SO much more than they expected you to be. Being overlooked is not good. Kick and scream until you get the recognition you deserve.
Forget the labels. Be it the ones in your dress or the ones people put on you. They don’t matter. All that matters is that you have total agency over yourself and your body. Keep it that way.
There are no ifs and buts when it comes to love. Your Dad and and I met and married within 6 months, despite everyone’s objections. Our mantra is “when you know, you just know”. It’s a good thing to remember.
I can only hope, as a woman speaking to someone who will one day be one, that I’ve done a good job, raised you with confidence, intelligence, empathy and grace.
Trust me kid, you’re going to need those things to make it in this world.
Love, Ma xxxx