Dear 10-year-old daughter,
It’s happening. I’m seeing you grow up right before my eyes. As I approach your birthday, I can’t help but reflect back to the day you were born. For me, it seems like it was literally just yesterday. I haven’t been the same since you came into my life. I submit below this letter to you on the celebration of the first decade of what I hope for you is a long and satisfying life.
I think you are beautiful. As we approach the tween years, I’m preparing myself for you to be bombarded by the world (even though we shield you as much as we can). Always know you are a uniquely good person who is capable of making a positive difference in this world. What is inside of you and the respect you show to yourself and to others are so much more important than what you look like, how much money you make or what worldly possessions you have. You are affirmed and made whole as a child of God. You don’t need anything else or any person to complete you. As you continue to grow into a young woman and you experience many physical changes, always remember how beautiful you are.
I see that twinkle in your eye. It used to always be about our family, activities or toys; but now I see you light up when you talk about school, friends and even that boy on the playground. I’m so happy that you are finding your way and whispering to me your secrets before you fall asleep. Don’t forget that I’m always right here cheering you on.
I can feel a change coming. I see you stomp your foot, roll your eyes and hear you talk under your breath. These next few years may be challenging some days, but we can do it. We can work together to communicate and I know that we will both be stronger when we successfully emerge on the other side. Find wisdom in other women. It’s ok if it’s not always me that you turn to – but choose one of the amazing older women in your life that can listen and help you navigate rough waters based on their own experiences.
Be a good friend. I can’t say this enough. Be kind to everyone. If you hurt someone, say you are sorry. Always try to do the right thing and when you mess up, apologize and try again.
Finally, looking ahead, I am filled with conflicting emotions but mostly looking forward to sharing these next eight years intimately with you. Parenting doesn’t stop when you go to college, but I plan to make the most of these years and be present in the moment with you, because they will fly by even faster than the past 10.
My first memory of you as a wide-eyed, six-pound baby looking right at me, will remain forever, just like our bond, as mother and daughter. Happy 10th Birthday!
Jennifer Newell loves spending time with her husband, kids, and going to the beach. She spends her free time chauffeuring her two kids to and from activities and loving the #chambana community. She’s excited to enter the world of double digits with her daughter, Maggie.