Dear Teenage Daughter,
Like other moms and daughters, we have days when we get along well, when we can share space and feel connected. And, of course, we have days when all we do is argue, when we have nothing nice to say to one another, and when this house isn’t big enough for the two of us. I hope you know that even in the most heated of arguments, when you think all I am doing is trying to control your life, I hope you remember that I love you. I will always love you.
Do you remember this happening?
Not long ago, you were having a bad day. As you bent to get something out of the refrigerator, the contents of your pencil bag dumped out. I helped you collect your things as you grudgingly said, “This is the kind of day I’m having.” I tried to be positive, saying, “But you’re super prepared for your chemistry test, and you’re going to rock it!” “Yeah, but that’s after I fail my Latin quiz.” As you walked away, with that defeated look, I gave one last-ditch effort to raise your spirits, saying, “You have a mom who loves you!”
“I always have that,” you matter-of-factly stated as you walked out.
Oh, my sweet girl, please never forget how much I love you. On days when you need me and on days that you don’t, please know that I want nothing but for you to be content with this life that you are blessed to live. I hope you always know that even in the most difficult of days, when you think your world is crashing down on you, when nothing seems to be going your way, I am always here with open arms. I may not be able to fix what is going on in your life, but I can hold you, cry with you, and help you see that tomorrow is another day. I can also be an honest observer, even if it isn’t something you want to hear; sometimes the truth stings but that motivates us to be better people.
My princess, I see myself in you, and I want you to have a better life than I have lived. When you roll your eyes because I am nagging at you (again), please know I just don’t want you to settle for less than your personal best. When you begrudgingly clean your room because I won’t let you go out on Friday night if it’s messy, know that I just want you to realize how much stuff you have so that you might be more thankful for the blessings you’ve been given. When I judge your actions, know that I want you to develop into a person of solid character, one who empathizes with others and who is loyal to those close to you. When I praise you, know that I recognize that you do lots of great things, and I am so proud of the woman you are becoming.
Always know, even when you don’t like me very much, that you have a mom who loves you. Always. No matter what. You always have that.