Ten years ago I found myself waiting in a hospital room.
Young, 23 year old me, was nervous and excited and scared. My life was about to change and I didn’t have a 5 year plan in place – heck, I didn’t even have a 5 day plan in place. My stomach was in my throat and my heart was fluttering faster that I could count.
I didn’t know what to expect with motherhood. I didn’t know how to be a mom. What I did know was that you would be here, ready or not, and my world was about to change forever.
And then, there you were. All 7 lbs 14 oz of blonde hair and long legs. I was holding my life and my heart in my hands. April 22, 20o6 wasn’t just the day you were born, but the day my purpose was born into this world – to be a mother, to be your mother.
In the ten years that have followed I have watched you grow, I have grown, and I have learned so much. You see, I might be the parent but you, my child, have taught me so many things. You have taught me patience and understanding. How to love unconditionally. How to be the best person that I can, the person I was meant to be. We have had tears and laughter. Struggles and accomplishments. These things we have done together.
10 things I want my daughter to know on her 10th Birthday
As you reach the celebration of your first decade here on earth, I know that your journey is just beginning. The things we have shared together in the past ten years you will now be doing on your own, with your brother and your sisters, and with your friends. I am here to guide you, to teach you, and to love you.
So on your 10th Birthday – these are the 10 things that I always want you to know.
The next 10 years are going to be hard.
It seems like just the blink of an eye – that ten years have gone by since the day you were born. And I’m sure when you turn 20 I will be looking back and saying the same thing. The next ten years won’t be as easy as your first, though. They will take you into high school and off to college. You will mature through adolescents. You will learn to drive a car, and earn the right to vote. You will make friends and lose friends and there will be tears along the way. You will face challenges that at ten years old, you don’t even know exist.
Always stay true to who you are
You are unique and beautiful inside and out. Don’t ever let anyone take that away from you. Stay true to who you are and what you believe – even when you are going through something difficult, something you just cannot understand. As you get older, it will be tempting to try and fit in – don’t do it. You are perfect, just as you are and if someone doesn’t understand that then they are not worth your time.
Try new things. Do things that may seem hard. When you challenge yourself you will become even stronger than you already are. Don’t let fear stand in your way because you will learn things about yourself that you never would have known and you will be a better person for it. You will grow in ways you didn’t even know were possible.
It’s okay to fail
Really. It’s ok. No one ever said that trying something new was going to be easy. And if you fail, that just means you have learned something for the next time. Use that. Try again. It is in times of failure that we grow and change and make ourselves better for the future.
Never give up
You’re going to want to give up – don’t. Push through. I know that you can because I have seen your strength. I have seen your determination and all that you are capable of. Just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. So never give up – you just don’t know what will be waiting for you on the other side of that hardship.
Always speak the Truth
I cannot tell you enough how important this is. Always speak the truth – to me, your dad, your friends, everyone. If something is bothering you, speak up. Tell the truth. Don’t worry about how it might sound – speak the truth. If you don’t like something, say it. If you think something needs to change, say it. And if you are scared to tell the truth, that’s ok. I promise, once you do you will feel better and you can move forward.
This is Only Temporary
Nothing lasts forever, it is only temporary. Whether it’s good or it’s bad I need you to know that it will not last. When it is good, count your blessings. Share your goodness and your fortune. But when it is bad, know that it will get better because it is only temporary. The hurt or the heartache will come and go and you will always make it through to the other side.
You are strong
I have seen your strength set in motion since you were a baby. I watched you fall and get up again. I watched you determined to make it through, to take that next step. I have seen you excel at school and in sports and that is because you are strong. You have a strength within you that will never give up and will keep you pushing forward, even when things are hard. It is this strength that you will call on in the tough times and it is this strength that will get your through.
You are loved
There are so many people in this world that love you. So very many. And we always will. No matter what happens, what mistakes you make, or how far away you might go – you are loved.
You will always be my child
Always and forever. You will be that baby that I held in the hospital on April 22, 2006. The child that changed my life, the one that made me a mother. As you grow up and move on you will always be my child. You will move on and head off to college. You will get married and have your own children. And one thing will always remain the same – you will always be my child- and in that, you will always have a place that you can call home.