To my sweet little girl:
I want you to know that you are loved more deeply than you could ever possibly imagine. You are awesome and incredible beyond measure.
As you grow and learn, I will learn too – all about you, and all about being your parent. I definitely won’t be perfect, but I promise to always love you with my entire heart throughout life’s journey, and to do my best to nurture, guide, support, and encourage you.
This, my sweet little one, is my list of promises to you.
1. I promise to encourage you to follow your dreams, and to remember that you are you; it’s not your job to be an extension of me.
2. I promise to help you figure out who you are as you navigate this big world. I will help you discover and build on your unique interests and strengths.
3. I promise to teach you that you are worthy of respect. I will teach you when to stand up for yourself and when to silently walk away. I will show you how to treat yourself with respect and how to demand respect from others.
4. I promise to get messy with you. I will build snow forts with you, jump in the leaves with you, make sandcastles with you, and dance in the rain with you.
5. I promise to pick my battles and not get caught up in arguments about things that don’t really matter.
6. I promise to be vulnerable with you and let you truly see me.
7. I promise to show you how to have healthy relationships. I will teach you how to be a good friend and how to choose your friends wisely. I will teach you the value of amazing girlfriends. I will explain to you why I fell in love with your Dad, and what qualities to look for in a life partner.
8. I promise to give you boundaries so you feel safe and secure, while still allowing you the space and freedom you need to grow.
9. I promise to talk with you and to listen to you. I will talk to you about anything and everything you want to talk about. I will listen attentively – to your joys, your fears, and your secrets.
10. I promise to comfort you.
11. I promise to love you wholeheartedly.
12. I promise to teach you to truly feel and embrace your emotions; I will laugh and cry with you. I will teach you how to love deeply.
13. I promise to listen to your side of the story, and to remember that just because I’m older than you doesn’t necessarily mean I’m wiser.
14. I promise to teach you to be a independent, creative, and resourceful person.
15. I promise to practice self-compassion, because by watching me be compassionate with myself, you will learn to be compassionate with yourself and others.
16. I promise to share my faith with you. I will teach how how it has changed my life and how it can change yours too.
17. I promise to continually work on becoming a better person and a better role model for you. I will also help you find other positive role models to look up to during your life.
18. I promise to believe in you. When you struggle with self-doubt, I promise to remind you of how strong and capable you are.
19. I promise to show you that you are worthy of love and belonging.
20. I promise to help you find your wings, and when the time comes, as hard as it may be for me to let go, I promise to teach you to fly.
My sweet girl, I will love you forever and always.
Featured photo credit: baby feet b&w/Christine Szeto via flickr.com