Starting with a clean slate

Dear Daughter,

I suppose I should make the above subject plural—Daughters—because there are two of you now… a fact that both thrills and frightens me all at the same time. Little girls are wonderful. They’re pretty, sweet, and have cute clothes. I understand girls. They make sense to me (as opposed to boys, whose affinity for dirt and destruction baffles me). But I think—and I’m just presuming here—that parenting a daughter is much more nerve-wracking than parenting a son. Because while girls are pretty, sweet, and have cute clothes, they are also emotional beings who wear their hearts on their sleeves. They’re prone to get hurt, both physically and emotionally, more easily than boys are, and that is sometimes too much for a parent to bear.

The whole reason I started writing this blog, these letters to Daughter, is to help my daughter (now daughters) and other young women make the right choices, to warn them of what obstacles might be ahead of them and to guide them in navigating those obstacles accordingly. I don’t have all the answers myself (far from it!) but I do have some expertise on the matter. Because I am a girl. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’ve gotten hurt, both physically and emotionally.

One of the most fascinating things about having a baby is that, once they enter the world, they are a clean slate. They haven’t yet been jaded by the reality of life. They haven’t yet learned what they can get away with or what influences might harm them.  So at that moment when the baby is pulled out of the womb, parents are given the opportunity to do things right, to discipline and guide their child in the best possible way. And while it will never go perfectly, because no parent is perfect, it is the hope and intention of most parents that the baby will grow into a caring, respectful child and later into a sensible, hard-working adult.

Similarly, every time I write a new letter/post here, I have the opportunity to help guide my daughters and others to a more fulfilling life. Every blank screen is a clean slate that, when filled, might help others—and myself!–see things in a new way and become better people for it.

So the fact that I haven’t written anything in the past couple of months has had a profound effect on me. I’ve been feeling a little bit empty, and incredibly guilty, because I wasn’t using this platform to help you or others. Granted, I’ve been busy! Taking care of a newborn is no easy task, and takes up much more of my time than I had anticipated. But there were times when I could have written but chose not to, because I wanted to take that time for myself rather than for others. And I think I needed that “me” time. I still do… everyone does! But what I also needed was to pursue my passion and my calling, which is writing these letters to you, Daughter.

So I’m going to do the best that I can with this tremendous opportunity I’ve been given. I acknowledge that there will be days when it truly is impossible to write. But I want to make this a priority again, because you are my priority. I look forward to returning to this fun, thought-provoking medium to communicate just how much you mean to me.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ela83
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 07:26:56

    congratulations on the birth of your second daughter 🙂


  2. Stephanie
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 17:54:01

    Absolutely beautiful. And I am in love with the photos Beth took of you!



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