POETRY

Letter To My Daughter

Dear Daughter,

This year I will be twenty seven and you are one of the things I think about the most. I think about what I’m going to teach you and tell you. I think about the type of girl I hope you to be and the type of woman I hope you become. I think about your heart and what will affect it. I think about what I will call you and what you will answer to. I worry about what will scar you.

I am a daughter who carries her mother’s past. I am a reflection of my mother’s mistakes. I walk in the shadows of her suffering and I wake up with the same pangs I used to feel when I was inside her. From what I still feel, her pain hasn’t changed. I just went from feeling it from her womb to witnessing it separately, in person. And I’m bound. Bound by a duty to make those pangs go away.

I know that you too, will carry me this way. You will learn that my skin is thick because my heart is raw. You will feel both my crippling depression and my opportunity blindness; there are moments that you and I, alone, will carry the weight of. You have a backseat to who I actually am. You will hear my thoughts and know the things I feel but when you physically leave me I don’t want you to still be burdened with them. I want you to have a fresh start and not be scarred or tainted so I will try to host the best environment for you.

Something that is also very important to me, which we will share, is the type of man I bring into your life. I feel that my entire life experience with men has not been to find the right man for me, but to find the right man for you. It is not about the type of man I deserve but the type of man I want to leave alone with you when you can’t sleep.

Who your father will be to you is weighing heavily on me because of who my father is to me and who so many men have been to so many women I know.

I am surrounded by single mothers whose husbands are right next to them but don’t have the emotional capacity to be part of a family.

I will love you when you make mistakes and when you disappoint me. I will cry at night because of you, wake up in the morning and still make breakfast for you and love you. My father has never treated me that way. He carries my past mistakes in his wallet as a constant reminder of how much it costs to have his love. Your father will never walk past you in the street and not speak to you the way my father does to me. Your father will invade your privacy (that’s how it will feel to you) because he is your father but he will never disrespect you or shame you for what you do or who you are. We have all made our mistakes and did things we wish we could forget. But your parents are the people who love you no matter what.

So I want you to hold him responsible for the type of person he is to you. Don’t take his excuses, accept only the truth but with understanding. Love him as I’ve taught you, with no judgment or restrictions. Your father should be a destination where you can be yourself. If he is anything less than that, hold him accountable. He does not get a way out; he does not get to give up. There are no breaks in parenthood; there are only the good times and the bad. There is nothing broken by good intentions that can’t be fixed.

But most of all, it is important for you to remember that you are my daughter, so you are protected by things you can’t even see. The universe cradles you the way I do. Ask for what you deserve and accept nothing less. And above all else, You have a mother who loves you and always will.

Mom