An Open Letter to My Daughter

Daughter, I openly write this letter to express to you some things that have been on my mind, but sometimes difficult to express, and we both know I am generally not shy about saying what I need to say! I tend to get things out better by writing and I felt that it would be worth writing and prepare you for “those moments” you may have soon.

Today you begin your Freshman year in high school! WOW!! I have a freshman in high school! I knew this time was coming, however, I didn’t realize how emotional it would be for me.

I had you at the age of 18. I was a freshman in college when I found out that I was pregnant with you. You were not planned and over time, I have learned that when you make certain plans, they don’t always follow through. Or better yet, you make plans and then life happens.

During my pregnancy, I had to get myself together because I was bringing a human being into this world! I felt alone most of the time while pregnant with you. I didn’t know how I was going to juggle being a mother, work a full-time job to support you financially, finish college, and have a social life all at the same time. I don’t know where my determination came from, but I was going to make “it” happen for both of us by any means necessary, legally that is!

Also, during my pregnancy, I experienced an emotional situation that I wouldn’t wish on any young woman in love – or who thinks that she is in love. Contrary to the circumstances that I allowed during my pregnancy (and a few years after), I was able to carry you full-term and was ecstatic the day you entered this world and was my baby!!!  I worked hard to ensure that you were well-taken care of and didn’t want/need for anything. I thank God for my parents who were morally, physically, and financially supportive of the two of us during your years of growing up. To this day, as you enter high school and near the age of 14, the two of them are still involved and help in ways that some children, especially nowadays, are not as fortunate to have in their lives. You’ve got some awesome grandparents and mother young lady!

As you progress into your teenage years and young adulthood, I want to leave you with some friendly and motherly advice and challenges:

I challenge you to continuously focus on self-care and self-confidence versus what others feel and think of you. It’s none of your business and it is not and will not be your job to control others’ feelings and emotions. I challenge you to make sound decisions and think prior to acting. Don’t try to convince others (especially me) that you made a mistake versus a decision…know the difference. Pick your battles…you don’t have to voice your thoughts/opinions on every matter/situation…some could be wasted energy…trust me! I challenge you to humble yourself. Befriend individuals and during your friendships, you will learn who is truly adding value to your life and they very well may look at you the same. Over time, you will learn, on your own, who you want in your space, who deserves to be in your space, and who you may need to give you space.

Character and integrity are going to be huge for you. You aspire to go into a profession that requires you to have a high level of integrity and your character/reputation will be on the line.  Be cautious…avoid throwing away your opportunities by jumping on bandwagons and following others…not everyone is capable of being a good leader. You’ll know a good leader when you see one…hey…you live with one (just sayin’)! Know who you are and march to the beat of your own drum. Own who you are! Don’t look down on others…you don’t know their journey just as well as they may not know yours. Hold yourself accountable always and remember who raised you! Remain a student and I am not referring just to your academics. Watch others and never be afraid to ask questions. There will be things in life that you’ll learn to do and what not to do. Learning has no age limit. I’m continuously learning new things every single day and Lord knows that I am not getting any younger!

I love you more than words can say, and I am proud of the direction that you’re heading. You appear to be focused and determined to make your way to Harvard Law and by keeping God first and remaining focused, I have faith that you will get there! I’ll even throw in a special prayer for your tuition to be paid in full by way of scholarships and grants…yes indeed! It’s realistic and attainable so you can work and speak it into existence. I feel that you are an amazing, talented, outgoing, beautiful, caring, well-spoken, funny, kind-hearted young lady. We have our typical mommy-daughter situations; however, I will continue to support your endeavors and be one of your biggest cheerleaders along the way. As your mother, I look for progression over perfection and satisfactory report cards – you know Harvard’s admissions requirements! Lastly, cherish these years as a young adult while you can!  Responsibilities and bills are real girlfriend!! I’m out!!

Love Your One and Only Mother and always remember…you only get one!