To my daughter on International Women’s Day,
You are joy in motion. You are silly and fun and full of bliss. I hope to be the kind of woman to foster the delight you find in this world rather than stifle it and ask you to be something you are not. There are many messages telling you to fit a certain mold- I hope to be the woman who supports you in creating your own.
You see the world for its possibilities. I hope to be the kind of woman to encourage your imagination and aspirations even if they aren’t the ones that entered my mind when I dreamed of what you might become. A great woman remembers that to each one, a separate dream, a unique place in this world.
You teach others that love is boundless when fear is removed. I never knew that I could love as much as I do until you came into this world and became my daughter. You taught me that hearts expand when we let new people into them and “family” has no traditional definition. I hope to be the kind of woman who helps you to define things in the way that makes sense to you rather than to the rest of the world.
You remind me to mix gratitude into patience: You drive me nuts sometimes. You are learning and becoming—all this takes time. I hope to be the kind of women who is comfortable being your teacher—but also being your student. And I hope to be the kind of woman who, after the toughest day, recalls with a grateful smile, the laughter, the hugs, and the kisses rather than just the bloopers and blunders. And maybe, even appreciating the mistakes too.
You look into the mirror and you smile at what you see reflected back at you. I hope to be the kind of woman who helps build that confidence and positive sense of self. I hope to be the kind of woman who continues to see my own beauty even as I age and as my body changes– as I know I am a model for you as your mother and your mentor. Together, we can teach each other acceptance and a wider definition of beauty. We can remind each other that beauty is in infectious laughter, released tears, time with those we love, assertive voice amplified and easy side-by-side silence. I hope to be your warm blanket on a cold day, your pillar of strength, and a reminder that beauty is imperfect, 3D, and ever-changing. Yes, I hope to be that woman for you as you deserve such a woman in your life.
You make me a better mother. You make me a better woman. And I hope that one day, you will say the same about me. Happy International Women’s Day.
All my love,