to my daughter,
this month, i was blown away, witnessing your continued development as a little girl. you change your outfits at least three times before school each day. you worry about “looking pretty”, fixing your hair, and matching your clothes. your obsession with shoes continues (this, i’m convinced, was instilled in you since birth. no clue where it came from, but you have always loved your shoes) and you wear mine around the house as if they were your own. i struggle, as your feminist mother, to balance being understanding of your concerns with the resistance to tell you (to SHOUT at you) to buck against our cultural norms. your outward appearance is nothing compared to what’s on the inside. i will continue to remind you of this, probably your whole life, as you will be bombarded with our society’s ideals.
in addition to witnessing your new emotions of self-consciousness, i am also seeing you build self-confidence. you are getting tougher on the soccer field. you are speaking your mind, voicing your opinions, sharing stories of how you chose to be different than your friends. your reading level has excelled dramatically. you are not afraid to show affection, and your hugs to family and friends are strong and true.
this dichotomy of self-confidence and self-doubt is perfectly normal, my little love. the reality is that our world will hold strict standards for you. it is my job to ask you questions, to listen, to not blow off your doubts as you develop as a female. it is my job to show you that it’s okay to be flawed, to have yucky days, to not always be perfect. it is my job to be a role model in confidence and bravery. it is my job to hold your hand, to wipe the tears away, to be your biggest f*cking cheerleader. it is my job to support you, through it all, and to remind you daily that YOU ARE LOVED.
bursting at the seams, overflowing with love for you.