Friday, March 9, 2018

Letter to my Daughter

I wrote this letter on International Women's Day, during a rare respite between my daughter's feedings and changings.

Dearest Daughter,

Today is International Women's Day and you are 8 days old.

When I look at you, I am full of worry, and wonder, and optimism about how you will grow up and how the world will treat you. Right now, you are zonked out cold in your sleeper, right next to me and your father, who is also napping. You may be dreaming, and I hope that continues. I dream daily that the world will be just a little bit better by the time you try to make those dreams a reality.

Sometimes I fear the world you were born in to. Politics, terror, racism, gender inequality, there are so many things that keep me up at nigh. Things that when I was growing up, shaped my life perhaps in a different direction. Don't get me wrong, I love where I ended up. My parents did an amazing job raising me, I married the love of my life, have a decent job, a wonderful education and now I have you.

However, my hope is you will have more opportunities than I ever did to make your life exactly how you want it to be.

I am encouraged by the movements I've been seeing today and despite the grim reality that sometimes we live in, it is the good people that you see fighting for what they believe in that we need to look to. I hope that your father and I have it in us to raise you to be one of those people.

You are surrounded by so many female friends and family who are fantastic role models to help you achieve what ever goals and dreams you set for yourself. While I have unreasonable expectations as to what wonderous mountains you will move, ultimately, what goals and dreams you decide to chase are yours and yours alone.

What I can hope for and try to teach you, is to be good to people. And I do not mean just making sure you smile at the lady at the Starbucks counter. I mean, open, bleeding heart caring for people you do not know and a resounding love and open affection for those that you do know.

As your great Aunt would say (and still does) "Nice Matters"

Right now, the world is not nice. This includes the world your father has a career in. My unrealistic expectation is that by the time you are grown up, those kinds of people that make things toxic, especially for women, will be long gone and you can choose what kind of career and goals and wishes you want.

What I am trying to say in all my ramblings is that, even if the world is just as toxic as it is now, my hope is that you will grow up to be a caring, selfless, strong, independent, strong-willed woman like the women in your family that came before you.

Love you forever,

Your Mother

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