To My Daughter on Her 9th Birthday

Nine years ago I was in labor after waking in the middle of the night with contractions. Nine years ago I was told you were stuck and taken into surgery to have a C-section. Nine years ago I cried when they lifted you up so I could see you and your daddy held you first because I wasn’t able to yet. Nine years ago you came into our world and made it brighter and more promising.

Today, you headed off to school, a special treat to share with your third grade classroom in tow, and an excited smile painted on your face. Today, at exactly 12:36 p.m. you are turning nine. With another year behind us, and so many more ahead, these are my thoughts and dreams for you as you keep growing…

  • You are never going to make everyone happy, so don’t try to. Don’t attempt to be the person they want you to be just to be a part of their group or clique. Be the person your heart is telling you to be. We are all different, and different is good and so much more exciting then being like everyone else.
  • Learn who your true friends are, and fight for them as they would for you. You will come across many people in your life, but it’s the ones who will cry with you when you are sad or stand up for you when someone else is treating you badly that are truly the most valuable in your life. Don’t let those valuable people go, you will regret it later.
  • Concentrate and take the time to learn. The older you get the harder school gets and the more you will want to rush through classwork and homework to do “fun” things. But what you’re learning matters. Through learning our brains grow and thrive. You are already so incredibly smart and the more you learn the more opportunities will unfold for you when you are older.
  • Play and laugh. Hard work is important, but so is fun. Spend time with your friends and be silly. Play a game with your father or me, even if you’re better at it than us (or vice versa). Those moments will create a lifetime of memories.
  • Keep moving forward. Mommy didn’t get that tattooed on her shoulder for no reason. No matter how difficult something may seem, do not let it stop you from pushing through it. It doesn’t matter what it is, you can overcome any challenge. But if it feels relentless, we will help you.
  • Never let ANYONE think you are unworthy. You are exceptional. Know that in your heart. Know that no one has the right to touch you or hurt you. No one has the right to make you feel like you deserve to be harmed. As a young lady, and someday soon enough a young woman, know your worth is great.

You are already so loving and compassionate, far more than others may see right away. I could not be more blessed than to have you as my daughter. You are why I keep moving forward. You are why I keep playing and laughing. You are why I refuse to be anything but myself. You are why I know the true strength of love.

Happy Birthday.



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