Milly, my love, my wishes for you are endless so, in order to keep this letter to a length that isn’t a chore to read, I will try to be short. Lord knows, I can be long-winded in conversations that are important to me and that personality trait transfers to my writing so forgive me if I don’t live up to the promise of a concise letter.
I have loved you from the moment I saw your little bean-shaped body on the ultrasound. To be completely honest, I was not planning for another child so soon. I imagined RJ would’ve been out of diapers before you came along. When I found out I was pregnant, “shock” is the appropriate word to describe how I felt. But when I saw your little bean shape, I was absolutely in love.
When I found out that you were a girl, a whirlwind of concerns, thoughts, questions, vows, etc. ran through my mind. How was I going to raise a strong, intelligent, thoughtful, kind baby girl in a world that consistently undervalues and diminishes women–women of color? How was I going to make sure that your self-worth remained strong enough to overcome the need to “find love” in all the wrong people and places? I’m still figuring it out and, even though I find myself calling your grandmother in tears because you are a hand full (to say the very least) and I am scared that I may not be doing your spirit and willfulness much justice, I think I’m doing ok.
For you, I wish the world changes just enough to not taint you beyond repair. I wish that, when society tells you that you can’t, my voice will remain in your ear to remind you that society, as a whole, is a small minded idiot and you, absolutely, can do anything.
I wish that you will always love your hair as it grows out of your scalp–that you never feel the pressure to change your unruly curls in a manner that makes the people around you who are unlike you, more comfortable. I wish, for you, that you never feel the burden of making everyone else comfortable in your presence. I wish that you never seek to diminish yourself to fit into groups with people who will never fully understand you. I wish that you never seek to diminish your shine for anyone. ever.
I wish that love always outweighs hate for you and, at the same time, that you do not fall victim to the idea that everyone is deserving. I hope that you love yourself. I wish that, in making mistakes, you realize how easy it is to go astray and, because of that, you not judge others too harshly.
I wish that you could stay a baby forever and at the same time, grow into a phenomenal women and a genuine person.
I wish, for you, a sharp mind and wild eyes. Take it all in. Notice everything, ignore nothing, and store it away in your mind in a manner that gives you the ability to be no one’s fool and to be able to speak with purpose every time you open your mouth.
I wish and hope and pray that you will always see me as your mother, your best friend, your confidant and your safe haven. Even if this is not always the case (because, realistically, most teenagers don’t really want to be best friends with their parents) just know that those things are always real. I will always be your mother, your best friend, your confidant and your safe haven. I will always be here for you, even when your preoccupied with the idea that you know better than I do and you can get along without following my advice.
Side Note: You will always know me to be real with you so let me just say, you will never know more than me and your life will go along much smoother if you listen to my advice. But if you want to do your own thing…whatever. I will always be around to help you when things fall through and to look at you with those eyes like, “I told you so. You’re hard-headed like your daddy.” But I will never say the words–because you will already know.
For you, my baby girl, I wish an extraordinary life. I have every reason to believe that this will be so because you are an extraordinary girl. You are the best parts of me and, at the same time, you are karma, reminding me of the headaches I’m sure I gave my own mother and that’s ok.You are everything I every wanted in a daughter.
I love you.