The day you came into the world was warm and sunny, which has been your disposition since the first moment I laid eyes on your sweet little face. You often skip rather than walk, and it is so rare to see you sad we know when it happens something is really really wrong.
Your daddy often whispers to me he hopes you never lose your special sparkle and innocent outlook on life. I feel the same, but I have lived long enough, and seen enough to know I would be very naïve to believe that could actually happen.
In the eight short years since your arrival, I have found quite a few differences in raising you and in raising your four brothers. Some things I have worried about occasionally with them become magnified when thinking about your adolescent years. I know it is because I remember so well being a teenage girl myself. Because of this, I pray often to be the strong guide you will need to navigate the pitfalls of adolescence.
In my mind, two of the biggest obstacles you will face are how to relate to the opposite sex and your drinking/partying habits.
You are too young to even consider boys as anything other than classmates and friends. And I do not want to believe you would ever be curious about how drugs could make you feel, but I know in my heart, even if you are oblivious at this point, it will not be long before both are prevalent in your life.
My dearest daughter, God did not give to you a mother who will ever think it is okay to date in middle school...or even before you are long into your high school years.
Nor were you born to a mother who believes, "they are going to do it anyway so they might as well do it under our roof" ("it" being drinking/smoking/having sex). "Better here than somewhere else" will NEVER be my motto.
To me, that is lazy parenting.
I intend, with your dad's help, to instill in you a sense of pride in your body, in your intellect and in your ability to tackle any goal you set your mind to. I will let you to know often God did not place you on Earth to be someone else's toy to play with. And, yours is not a mother who would ever consider taking you to get birth control even though she was a teen mom herself.
YOU, my dear daughter, were designed by God and brought into the world to a mother who believes in your potential, and who will help you fight anyone who stands in your way...even (and especially) if it is you yourself.
I have no doubt there will be times when you will wish you had been born to another mother. But if I do my job well, with strength and consistency, there will come a day when you will thank me for being the mother you needed to help you become the woman I know God intends you to be.
With all of my love,