Monday, November 22, 2010

Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter,

I know I’m a drag on your wish to be fully independent right now. And that 18th birthday that looms ahead has you thinking that the whole world will change on December 30th and that suddenly you will make your own rules and live your life solely as you want to. As the woman who squeezed you from my womb and nurtured you the last eighteen years, I have to tell you in the sweetest, most loving way I know….that’s not going to happen. Not just yet. Why? You see, my job is not to make you happy. My job is to turn you into a loving, compassionate, productive citizen, and my job isn’t done. You think it is. And we’re getting close to that point, but we’re not quite there yet. And sometimes my job requires me to make and enforce rules that you don’t like.

Oh, I know you think I’m holding on too tight. I thought my parents did too when I was your age. I know you curse me under your breath when I tell you that you can’t stay out until 2am or that a certain boy is not coming anywhere near our house. I know you sometimes count the hours until you’re living in your own dorm room or apartment and you don’t have to worry about me or your dad enforcing a curfew or asking where you’ve been all evening. And I know that you think we’re stricter than everyone else’s parents. I know because I was once there too. And while I hate that it makes you angry, I know that one day several years from now, you will understand that I was right. Seriously, you will, and you'll thank me for nixing the tattoo. It doesn’t make any sense now, but one day it will.

You’re strong. You’re smart, and you’re very independent. But there are still those times when I see glimmers of a middle schooler or a young girl who doesn’t always know how to handle herself. God gives me signs these days that for a little while longer your dad and I need to keep shaping you and molding you into the person YOU want to be. My love for you is big enough to withstand your anger over the boundaries we set for you because I know that one day when you’re about thirty; you’ll be glad that we kept you from turning into one of THOSE girls. Rest assured, the day when I put my foot against your tail feathers and shove you out of the nest is rapidly coming, and more freedoms are just around the corner. But for now, my wings are still wrapped around your stubborn little being with the knowledge that one day you will understand. And be glad.

PS-You can have the iPod back tonight.

Love, Mom

6 comments:

The Church Lady said...

Excellent letter to daughter, mom. One day she will understand, perhaps when she is a mom herself.

Anonymous said...

I have a son who could stand to read this one! He thinks he's the only kid in town whose parents are so strict. And he has no clue just how lenient we really are.

Life with Kaishon said...

You are a great Mommy!

oreneta said...

Yeah, the iPod has made it into my hands too upon occasion. My only problem here is that I can't take her bedroom door off now we're moved.

Hang tough.

A New England Life said...

You mean it's not just my husband and I? We aren't the meanest, most strict parents on the planet?

Just because so many parents don't care where their kids are, or what they're doing, it makes us parents (the ones who are trying to do a good job), look like monsters in our child's eyes. I can only hope that when my older daughter grows up and has a child of her own that she too will be a firm, yet loving parent.

Caren said...

LOVE IT! If I shared your post with my now 24 year old daughter she would assume I wrote it. You are doing what a good mom is supposed to do... be a mom. Our kids have enough "friends"... and at 18 when the independence is pushing them in so many directions...they really appreciate the stability and structure only a good parent provides. Bravo!