Tag Archives: letter to my daughter

Impossible Girls

To my dearest daughter on the eve of your 4th birthday,

I will never forget the day you were born. Mostly because it’s hard to forget when someone slits your abdomen open and pulls a human being out of it. Then I heard your very first cry and tears welled up in my own eyes. You sounded like a dying pterodactyl. It was a screech so piercing it felt like an ice pick was stabbing my brain. And I’m not the only one. The nurses on the pediatric ward all agreed it was one of the most intense caterwauls they had ever heard. One of them actually twitched whenever you cried. 

Oh, but how perfect you were. When you were sleeping. 

It’s been an immense pleasure these past few years watching you grow up. I even had a front row seat because you were never not climbing all over me. Four years in and I’ve peed by myself twice. Then, just when I couldn’t take it anymore, you’d fall asleep on my chest and finally stay still long enough to let me smell the top of your head. Which smelled like sweat and macaroni and cheese and everything that is right with the world. 

It’s happening less and less now. The lazy afternoons listening to your soft breathing. On the plus side, you’ve taken to climbing things other than me. The unsecured bookcases. The door frames. The extremely large and heavy dresser. Which goes to show that you are a gal who won’t take no for an answer. No matter how many times your parents scream it at you. 

Then again, what else could one expect from the girl who invented a game called Fireball? If you are ever reading this in the future and are wondering how you play Fireball, I can’t help you. Four-year-old you won’t tell me. All I know is that you play it in your brother’s room and it often involves horrific crashing noises. One time you were playing it and you tore out of his room hollering “I’m going on the run!” Then you grabbed a handful of Cheerios from the table, shoved them in your mouth, and kept right on running full speed to the other side of the house. 

I’m pretty sure you won that day.

This other time you and your brother were sitting on the couch and you asked him if he wanted to play “The Floor is Lava.” He excitedly responded with “yes!” and you immediately pushed him off the couch with a spectacular bang. 

Speaking of loud noises, you have less of a pitter patter and more of a brigade of war drums. You make the grand entrance of tyrants three times your size. How something so small could make such a cacophony while dressed like a butterfly princess is an impressive achievement. So much so that I had to search for a word big enough to describe it and came across “cacophony.” 

You dance like you want everyone watching. You hug until it hurts. You sing often and loud and joyously and completely off-key. You scream “I hate you, Momma!” at least three times a day. You tell me you love me at least ten. You love books and dirt and puddles and cats and lipstick and Super Mario Bros. 

You have an annoying devotion to fairness. You want answers to all the questions. Even the hard ones. You get mad when it’s not what you want to hear.  

You are nothing like I’d thought you’d be. You’re better than anything I could have dreamed of.

You make me want to tear my hair out some days. You are utterly impossible some days. 

And thank god. 

You are growing up in an impossible world, baby girl. It is scary and unjust and exhausting and extreme. 

And an impossible world needs girls like you. Fearless, strong, loud. It needs people who love fiercely and aren’t afraid to fight. Who won’t take no for an answer. Who have war drums for feet. 

Which is why, on my worst days, the days where it all seems hopeless, I look at you and your wild, tangled hair. The dirt on your left cheek. The butterfly wings and the sword. You make me want to fight the impossible. 

You make me want to be an impossible girl too. 


Letter to my unborn child

Dear My Unborn Child,

So…uh…hey, I guess. How are you? I’m fine. Yup. Um…so how ’bout them Red Sox, huh?

Sorry this is so awkward. Truth be told, we hardly even know each other. I mean, all I really know about you currently is that you are violently opposed to Chinese food and all you really know about me is that I eat way too much cheese. So this whole trend just seems a bit ridiculous.

Oh wait, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about, what with you being busy forming eyeballs and a pancreas and all. Let me fill you in real quick. Apparently, in this day and age, any parent or parent-to-be with a keyboard and a Starbucks wifi password is required to write some cheesy letter to their future offspring and then publish it in a public forum. The general goal of this exercise, at least as far as I can tell, is to express their hopes and dreams for the said child and to make random people repost the link on Facebook along with comments like “This is soooo true. I’m totally wiping away the tears after reading this.”

Now normally I am not one to blindly follow the crowd (regrettably jumping on the Twilight bandwagon notwithstanding) but I’m on deadline and need something to write about anyway so, eh, why not? What could it hurt? (Except for your fragile young psyche and self-esteem, that is).

So, I guess to start off with, the first thing I’d like to tell you is that I never want to hear you say you want to be famous when you grow up. (Want to know the quickest way to break your Momma’s heart? Star in a reality TV series). Now that’s not to say I don’t want you to be successful. Or rich. Powerful? Go for it. Influential? Hell yes. Be the white Oprah, baby. But don’t just aim to be “famous.” You know who’s famous? Kim Kardashian and Grumpy Cat. Who are they, you ask, since you are probably reading this at least five to eight years in the future? Exactly.

I know I don’t know your gender yet, but if you happen to be a girl, don’t ever say you deserve to be treated like a princess. This is ‘Merica, sweetheart. People died so we wouldn’t have to deal with princesses anymore. And if you happen to be a boy, never date a woman, or a gay man, who thinks they deserve to be treated like a princess. You want a partner in life, not someone who buys pink tutus for their dog.

Be a nerd. Oh please, please be a nerd. Or a geek. I’ll settle for geek. Cause nerds and geeks end up being the best people.

Don’t sexually assault anyone. Ever. I know that might seem like an odd thing to say or even something that goes without saying, but considering the scary large number of rapes that happen every year, it’s obvious not enough parents are teaching their kids to not rape anyone.

Don’t be “that” guy. And if you happen to be in a crowd of people and don’t see “that” guy, then you are “that” guy. And we need to have a LONG talk about where your father and I went wrong.

Enjoy all things in moderation. Except for cheese. Cause cheese is awesome.

Don’t do drugs. It’s such a cliché.

My child will NEVER be a linejumper. You hear me? One of the things that makes this country so great is our superb standing in line skills. And I will not have you sullying the efforts of our forefathers who had to beat up countless linejumpers in order to give us the freedom to stand in line today without worrying about some brat trying to break the rules.

Be kind to animals. Because if you’re not, I’m going to have countless sleepless nights where I worry that you’ll grow up to be a serial killer.

Above all, I want you to be happy. Although preferably happy and with a well-paying job so that you can buy Daddy and me our dream retirement home in New Zealand.

Now typically these things end with some grand pronouncements of how much I love you and always will and how I loved you before I knew you and you are my heart and other flowery crap and glitter and unicorn farts.

Which is all true, of course.

And you already know that. Or at least you will.

So let’s end it instead in a style much more suited to our family:

If you keep making me fart every time I sneeze, I swear to all that is holy I’ll ground you until you start kindergarten.