In three short days you will embark on the next 13 years of your life, where you will make new friends, learn to share, learn to assert yourself, learn to forgive, learn who to trust and who to be wary of, and most importantly obtain your education.
I won’t say that your primary and secondary school years are the best years of your life, but if it’s any indication based on my life, you will make lifelong friends and take away mostly wonderful memories.
There will be tough times. Oh, will there be tough times. Times when you think everyone hates you, or times when a boy will break your heart. There will be times when your best friend will become best friends with someone else, and times when someone you didn’t like will turn out to be someone who is still your friend 20 years later. It will be hard to understand why someone hurts your feelings, whether you’re 5, 10 or 15, but you will survive.
Oh yes, you will survive. There may be moments you think the world is against you, but these are brief moments out of a long, long life. And I will be there for you every step of the way.
I don’t want to be a “cool mom”. I don’t want to be your friend. I want to love and support you and help you to make good decisions, but I’ll have to discipline you, too. You’ll get in trouble – every kid does at some time. You don’t learn without consequences, and that goes for both school and home. I’ll help you with your homework, but I won’t do it for you. I’ll be tough on your grammar and spelling, because that’s just what I do. You’ll have to go to your dad for math help, because that’s just not how my brain works. I expect you to work hard and give your all at everything you do, from school work, to sports, to housework. Nothing in life comes easy; it’s best to learn this at an early age.
You may be a popular kid, or you may not be. But the thing that is most important is that you be yourself. Don’t be mean to other kids. You’re not a mean girl. Don’t lie to get what you want. You don’t have to LIKE everyone, but you need to be kind to everyone. You get back from life what you put into it. Other kids may say or do mean things. This doesn’t mean it’s ok for you to act that way. You’re a good kid. You know this.
There will be mean girls, and there will be bullies. Please don’t be either one of these. Don’t say things you don’t mean, and don’t say things with intent only to hurt people. What you put out will come back to you, and you only want to surround yourself with positivity. And if people are mean to you, or bully you, be strong and confident. Don’t retaliate, and don’t give their words meaning. They are only words. You are the one that has the power to make the words true or not.
I promise I won’t pressure you into taking classes or participating in extra-curriculars that you don’t want to. But I will tell you that being involved and challenging yourself is rewarding and something to be proud of. Whatever you take on, give it your best and work your hardest. If it ends up it wasn’t the right decision, you still gave it your all.
You can do whatever you put your mind to. I’ve seen this in you so far. I know you always look for approval when trying something, and just know that as long as you are doing what is right or doing good, you have my approval. I know you are kind and patient with others. I hope that never changes. With each day that passes you will gain more confidence in yourself and become a strong, independent young woman.
You are my only child, and I love you more than I could ever put into words. You are spunky, witty, loving, gentle and capable. Monday is the beginning of big things for you. I wish I could stop time and keep you my little girl forever, but I also can’t wait to see what wonderful things life has in store for you.
Love you so much, punky,