Connecting with your daughter can be hard.
Sometimes spoken words do not make it past our daughter’s ears.
And sometimes what has been working before, no longer works in the relationship, like tickling and hugging the frown off her face. When this happened to me, I turned to pen and paper and wrote a letter to encourage my daughter.
Remember that I always wanted you.
From the time I missed my period, I prayed for you to be healthy and spunky. Your father and I would lie in bed talking to you beneath my overstretched skin like you were already with us. I always felt you’d be a girl. While you slowly grew, your limbs testing the limits of the womb and probing my insides, I sewed blankets and bumper pads for you, dreamed of you, sang to you, and loved you.
Remember you are beautiful.
Other people may have seen a little girl with only wisps of hair when you were three, but I saw you full of life, gregarious, curious, and generous. You loved to start-up conversations with shoppers in the grocery store as you swung your legs from the seat of the cart. You had an imagination that astounded me. You are now eleven, on the brink of adolescence, your body gearing up for changes to womanhood, and yet you are more beautiful than ever as you slowly, and still cautiously, take steps to become your own person. That hair that took so long to grow in is now thick, the color of fine wood. Most of all, your personality sparkles through your large blue eyes atop your cute pug nose and ready smile.
Remember you are unique.
You are like me in so many ways, and yet unlike me. We both love to read, write, learn, create, play the piano, watch theater, tell jokes, and visit people. Our personalities are the same in many aspects and yet in different ways we diverge. You have a kinder heart for animals, a stronger sense of self; you are bold and brave, not afraid to stand up for yourself or others. I have watched you over the years, learning from you.
Remember that raising you has been a joy.
My most influential job has been mothering you. Watching you take your first steps, being available to listen to your hurts and kiss your bruises, helping you figure out math problems, picking you up from school, answering your questions about life and how things work, becoming acquainted with your friends, and quietly studying your habits and personality traits.
Remember you are most important to me.
Sometimes I get so busy with life and completing my chores that I overlook the importance of spending time with you, being there for you and really listening. I forget that dishes and writing can wait, that you are growing and soon will be stepping from the nest to begin your own journey. Spending time with you brings so much happiness, whether it is talking to you during our drives to school, shopping for a new dress, reading Anne of Green Gables before bed or making peanut butter cookies. These little times are special and have created wonderful memories. Memories that make up who you are and bind us forever together.
Remember you are you are my beloved daughter! Always.
Write your daughter a letter:
1. Choose carefully selected words that communicate she is special, loved, and wanted.
2. Create specific images that recall certain times or events.
3. Sign and date your letter. Keep a copy for yourself.
4. Don’t underestimate the power of the written word.
This first appeared as a guest post at Prayers for Girls.
Remember what’s important,