A letter to my daughter: Lola, at 5 weeks old.
Oh, Lola. To say that I’m excited to be your mom would be an understatement. When I was younger and I’d think about one day being a mom, I always saw myself with a little girl. Always. I imagined my little girl dressed in pink, twirling in princess dresses, and tiaras and sequins and sparkles. And I envisioned a life filled with gymnastics, and ballet and dance. I expected barbies and American Girl dolls and I saw us playing house and dress up and school. I wished for outings for manicures and shopping for clothes, and prom dresses and wedding dresses together.
But then I found out I was pregnant with you — a girl — in 2017, and realized my vision of having a daughter now has changed drastically from back in the 90s. 🙂
I imagine you, Lola, a strong, independent child wearing whatever you love, whatever makes you comfortable and whatever allows you to go through your day confidently. And I envision you, an outgoing, happy child doing whatever extracurricular sport, art or music hobby brings you joy. I see you, with your giant imagination playing any game, with any toy that you can think up. My dream is us, going anywhere — doing absolutely anything together, and feeling complete happiness because I’m with you.
I want so much for you. I hope you understand us, feel cherished by us, and want to spend your time with us. I hope to fill our home with laughter and fun, music and books and I hope you never want for anything and always feel provided for. I hope you love to learn and that you know the value of education and the wonder of science. And I hope you love pop culture, road trips and learn to swim. I hope you enjoy being around people (like your dad) and feel peace when alone (like me). I hope you share your ideas when you’re passionate, and speak your mind when you’re angry. I hope you love fiercely, and trust carefully and show respect unconditionally.
Sometimes it’ll be tricky.
Your older brother paves the way for us as parents — and ultimately for you as our second child. Everything we know about parenting, we learn from him first. And there will be times that because of this, we take missteps with you — as our kid, and as our daughter. We’ve promised not to compare the two of you, and to treat you as two different people. You each have your own story, will hit milestones at different times, have different interests, needs, likes and personalities and we know all this. We’ve promised to be the parents you need us to be, and not the parents we want to be. But, Lola, if you ever feel that we’re forgetting these promises or that we’re losing sight of our hopes and wants for you, our daughter, — call us out. We’re human. And we’re learning.
It’s not easy being a girl, Lola. It’s special and it’s wonderful but it’s challenging. People have pretty strong ideas of what it means to be a girl — how to look, and act and dress and talk and walk. Some people will attach a disclaimer to your talents, abilities and skills — “for a girl”. But I hope you never allow their words to limit you. I hope you never feel stifled, or misled, or unheard. And of course, I hope you “never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world”. Because, oh, you are.
I love you, Lola.