Letter to My Daughter — and to Every Mother

There is no need to be everything to everyone. Be you.

A moment of connection. Good enough.

Dearest Riviane,

You are enough.

Do not let anyone — especially me — ever doubt you.

Live for yourself, and not to anyone’s expectations, not society’s, not your parents’, not your grandparents’, not your friends. There is no image you need to live up to.

Seek help when you need; you do not have to be strong all the time.

Cry, scream, whine, throw tantrums. Express your frustrations, your anger, and your jealousies all you need. It frees up space for giggles, laughter, fun, love, joy, and hope.

Do not suppress your emotions. Have people around you who let you express how you feel without telling you how you “should” or “should not” feel.

If you do not enjoy something, do not force yourself to “enjoy the moment.”

Have the courage to play all your life, to talk to yourself, to sing to yourself, and have a conversation with your toys.

If I ever ask you to memorize vocabulary, recite multiplication tables, or force you into extra tuition for chemistry to get better grades, refuse. Playing and daydreaming does more to a healthy life than any knowledge you stuff into your brain.

Be your own person. No one owns you. You are not “my” baby. You are you.

There are people in this world less blessed than you — but this is not a reason to not have the sorrows or worries that you feel.

I will unknowingly project my fears on to you, try to live vicariously through you, and attempt to protect you from experiencing the aches and pain I had when I was growing up. Give them back to me because you are you, and you will experience life in your ways.

One day you might not like me, you may not like spending time with me, you may not agree with me, and you may find me annoying. Tell me, scold me, shout at me, slam the door at me. I hope we will always be able to have a conversation, however difficult, and I will not cause you to shut off from me.

I apologize in advance for all the mistakes I make and all the things I said I would do but forget. I am sorry for the tantrums and things I say that will hurt you. I have my own shit to deal with and I am learning. Teach me.

I try not to be the mother or wife I said I would not be, but it is not always a smooth ride. You have every right to tell me to go look at myself.

Build your husband / partner; do not tear him/her down or question him/her endlessly like I do. Let him/her be forever your soul mate.

You do not need me or anyone to tell you that you are beautiful and intelligent. You are. You know that already. That’s that.

Originally published at nochnoch.com on December 12, 2016.

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