Granny Moe always told me, “It’s too bad kids aren’t like pancakes – you make all your mistakes on the first one and just toss it out and start over.” That’s really true. Parents make all their mistakes on the first child, and I certainly made my share of mistakes on you. I tried my best – sometimes succeeding and sometimes falling short.
When kids are little, they are easy to please. Their joy can be found in simple things, like a sparkly rock or an airplane in the sky or even a second round of “Green Eggs and Ham” even though it’s past bedtime already. But when kids grow up, it isn’t so easy. Simple pleasures of childhood give way to teen years of fitting in, being understood, and knowing the right answers. I wish I could give you all those things Sarah, but I can’t. That’s part of being – and becoming – who you are: you need to figure out those answers for yourself. Because your answers are not the same as my answers. Your answers will come from your heart.
Sarah, I don’t know how most parents feel about their little kids growing into young adults. The teenage years are filled with lots of tough choices, lots of opportunities for you to take a wrong turn or fall in with the wrong crowd. That’s enough to make any parent lose sleep every night. Sarah, YOU WILL MAKE MISTAKES. You will do the wrong thing. You might have to come to your dad and me, hanging your head in shame, asking us to bail you out of trouble. But I know you, Sarah. I know your heart. I know our family. I know that little girl still lives inside you, the one who wants to be happy and who loves to snuggle on the couch. It’s okay to grow up and still want to be taken care of. It’s normal and natural and completely okay. We will always be here for you, no matter what. In the next few years, we might be a little TOO MUCH here for you, and you’ll want your space and your privacy and to just be left alone. That’s normal and natural and completely okay too. We’ll still be here for you no matter what.
I don’t remember when you stopped being my little girl, but it happened. You’re now taller than me, and amazingly beautiful – on the outside but even more so in your heart. I’m not worried about who you are going to turn out to be because I’ve already seen who you are, and you’re no first pancake. You’re a keeper.
Every month on the 10th, I participate in a blog circle of women from Clickin Moms, to write letters to our daughters. My previous installments can be found by clicking the tab at the top of the page “Letters”.
And now, please visit Danika’s blog to read her letter to her daughter.