When I was pregnant with my daughter, people would always ask, “are you having a boy or a girl?”. When I revealed that the little life inside of me was a girl, I was so surprised by some of the responses I would get. People would say, “oh no, you’re in trouble!”, or “oh, I’m so sorry!”.
While I was shocked by some of these responses, I couldn’t really feel angry. I felt bad because when I first found out my baby’s sex, I had some of the same reactions. I always pictured myself being a boy mom. I remembered myself as a teenage girl and instantly feared that my daughter would get into the same mischief. Boys just seemed easier. Not to mention, I have always heard that sons love their mothers more than daughters do. It is so important to me that I have a close relationship with my children.
But, as my pregnancy progressed I started to develop such a strong connection with my daughter, and I knew that myth couldn’t be true. The first time I felt a real kick, every time I would hear her heartbeat, and every time I got to see her face during an ultrasound, my love for her would continue to grow. And then finally, when I gave birth to her and saw her face for the first time, I knew that God gave me a daughter for a reason.
Growing up, I didn’t have a “normal” childhood. My family dynamic wasn’t traditional and I didn’t share the strongest mother-daughter bond when I was younger. A part of me has always felt like I missed out on something special. I believe this is why God gave me a girl as my first child. He gave me the chance to give my daughter something that I didn’t really have.
I know that life happens, and we will have times when we don’t get along, but I will try every single day of my life to build upon a relationship with my daughter. I will strive to help shape her into the best human being she can be. I will try to teach her the most important parts of life that I am still learning myself.
I will teach her the importance of friendship. To value the quality, not quantity of friends. I will teach her that good friends will lift you up, not bring you down. They will support you in all things, in every stage of life, even if it is different from theirs. Friendships will get you through the toughest times, but they will also be there for the great times in life. Cherish your friends, and do not take them for granted.
But, if she should ever feel alone, I will be the shoulder of a friend to lean on.
I will teach her the power in forgiveness. That resentment and hate weigh heavy on the soul, and the lightness you feel once you forgive someone is indescribable. It will enlighten your world. It will help you realize that you might not be in control of other people’s actions, but you ARE in control of how you react to them. YOU have the power to turn your negative feelings around.
But, if she should get lost on the road to darkness and resentment, I will be the path that guides her to the light of forgiveness.
I will teach her that while you should forgive, you shouldn’t forget. History repeats itself, and while you should embrace mistakes and learn from them, you should not repeat them. Don’t fall for a bad boy twice, especially the same bad boy. Don’t let that same “friend” always tell you how pretty you are, but keep talking behind your back. Don’t let your boss ignore you, demand their attention. Have the ability to understand people are flawed, but don’t let their flaws turn into yours.
But, if she forgets to learn from a mistake, I will be the voice to remind her that there is always next time.
I will teach her to love with her whole heart. To understand there is more risk in not loving, than to love. To put love into every aspect of life. In Christ, in work, in relationships and most importantly in yourself. God made us perfect in His own way. And while you might not be perfect to others, you are perfect to Him. Once you understand that, there is nothing in life you cannot do.
But, if she has a moment when she does not love herself, I will love her a little bit harder until she can.
I will teach her to embrace her brokenness. That you can always find beauty in the broken. That life is not perfect – it is messy, stressful and disappointing. That even when you try your hardest, sometimes life will knock you down. I want her to know that when she falls, she DOES have the strength to get back up.
But, if she ever needs time to mend, I will be the walls that protect her until she heals.
I am still learning many of these lessons myself. And there are still so many other values I want to instill in my daughter. But, most importantly, I want her to know that I will always be here for her. I will always be the person she can count on to love her for who she is. I will never push her to be someone she isn’t. And I am so honored to be her mother and to raise her. I will never be disappointed that she turned out to be a daughter instead of a son. She will forever be my biggest blessing. God knew I needed her, and I am so thankful she’s mine.