A letter to my daughter:
On this day of your 8th grade graduation, I am filled with a variety of emotions. Mostly pride, for the accomplishments you’ve already achieved, and joy for the fulfillment you bring to my life. I can’t believe you’re going to high school this fall. My baby is growing up so fast. Time moves so rapidly for me now. Sometimes I can hardly keep up. The next four years will fly. They will be exciting but difficult. They are terrifying for me and your dad because we know the choices you will face. Many of those choices will be easy. Others will be hard. Some of them will be dangerous. We hope you will look to us for help when those choices come around. Every generation thinks things are different for them than it was for their parents. Not really. It may take you years to realize this truth, but mom and dad really do know what they’re talking about so I hope you follow my advice.
Study hard. It will pay off. You are who you hang around with. If you hang with trash, you become trash. Don’t ever get in a car with a drunk driver. Call me instead. You may still get in trouble for being at a party, but at least you’ll come home alive. Boys will warm and break your heart. The love you feel for them isn’t the deep lasting love you will share with the special person you likely won’t meet for years to come. Protect your virtue. It’s a beautiful gift that shouldn’t be squandered on the flavor of the week, month or year. Preserve your friendships. Those bonds will remain special to you for the rest of your life because of the things you will face together now. Laugh often. It’s good for the soul.
I wish for you wisdom, safety, courage and success. Be bold in your choices. Chase your dreams. Follow your heart, but use your head. I am proud of the person you have already become. You are smart, funny and beautiful on the outside AND inside. I love that you care about your family and friends and that you take such good care of your aging grandparents. I love that you are aware of your community and that you have opinions about issues like immigration and war. I love that you have a soft spot in your heart for the poor, the sick and the disadvantaged. Most of all, I love you for making my life complete. As you step into a more mature world, know that your dad and I are right behind you, cheering you on and propping you up. Welcome to the world, baby girl!
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