Published January 2018
My Little Girl,
We are getting anxious for your arrival. I know you’ll be joining our family soon, purely based on my polar opposite emotions: sudden, irrational worrying about really stupid things, followed by an overwhelming desire to lie down and not care, and back to the panicked feeling of unpreparedness that impairs my ability to just lie down…all during the consumption of just one Tums.
Your room is coming together (I hope you like pink). Your new clothes are sorted and hanging (I really hope you like pink). It’s not until I sit in your room at night, sore and excited, and take in the unfamiliar, feminine décor that I semi-absorb that I’m having a daughter.
It’s intimidating. I don’t know how to have a daughter.
I do know how to catch bugs, and I can handle a little blood and swollen lips. I’m great at alternating between being the policeman and the “bad guy.” I LOVE all of that stuff.
Are you going to love garbage day like we do? It’s kind of a thing here at our house.
Are you going to be my friend?
I DO know you’ll be loved…and doted on, and smothered. You’ll be very, very entertained by your brothers, who are undoubtedly going to be very, very hands on.
As I rock in your quiet, new room and make a to-do list in my head, I find my mind wandering. I wonder if you’re a little nervous, too. Are you already aware that I don’t quite know what I’m doing with this mom thing? Do you feel all my worries the way I feel your kicks? (And, wow…you can pack a punch way better than your brothers could.) Can you hear the frustration that seeps into my voice around 4PM? Do you know how much I hope we are friends, yet still want to help mold you into a great human? Is that an either/or thing? I hope you know how much I love being a mom. I hope you know I love my babies. I hope lots. As I sat in your room last night, I was flooded with late night “I hope you knows.” No matter what life has in store for us, I hope you always know these things. You know, girl to girl:
Life should be fun.
This life is sprinkled with magical moments. It’s hard…an understatement. There is heartbreak and darkness, but there is always, always a rainbow. Don’t ever forget to look for the rainbows. Seek out the magic.
Don’t ever settle.
Laugh, especially at yourself.
Kindness is never weakness. You’ll find the most strength, meaningful friendships, and confidence in kindness. Be nice.
Don’t worry too much.
There is a God. There are miracles.
It’s fine to spend time on your physical appearance! Do what makes you feel pretty, but remember, physical beauty is fleeting glitter. Your heart is valuable gold.
Chase your dreams. Dreams come true.
Money is best spent on making memories.
Are you ready for this? “You’re not a princess,” something my dad lovingly reassured me of several times, and I remember rolling my eyes but smiling (and my mom “Larry!”-ing it). Haha! As it turns out, that was one of the most influential pieces of advice I’ve ever received. Don’t act entitled, be humble, and work hard.
(He’s also always been the biggest cheerleader of independence, supporter of dreams and education, and the first to tell me he’s proud.)
Let me say that again: work hard. Work really hard.
There is nothing more attractive than a smile.
Strength, courage, and confidence don’t have to be blaring. Not everyone loves chihuahuas.
I can already feel you have some fight in you. You’re a strong girl, who has already endured several accidental bumps and elbowing from brothers, and pushes right back. Good! That makes me proud, and a little nervous! (Not to mention the sore middleman.) Hone it until it is refined and unpretentious, and you won’t be underestimated.
…and have kids. They’ll teach you everything else that I can’t.
That’s why you’re joining our family, right? I’m sure you’ll come straight from Heaven with your own list of things to teach me.
I’m a little nervous, but I think you’ll really like it here.
Can’t wait to meet you and introduce you to your brothers…or have we all already met?
PS You still don’t have a name, but I DO have your first bows all picked out for the hospital. (They’re pink.)