Raising a kid is kinda terrifying. But a daughter? Periods, boyfriends, mean girls, miniskirts, eating disorders, catty attitudes … oh, boy. And we haven’t even survived the first tooth or heard her first word yet.
And yet, I already know there’s so much more to parenting than the challenges and mistakes that we’ll make. Like nurturing her personality, watching her fall and pick herself back up, applauding her talents and acknowledging her weaknesses.
Here are three lessons I hope she learns:
1. She’s beautiful. Look at that little nugget with her Uggs. She’ll only need one glance at her parent’s Facebook photos to see the thumbs up and comments about how adorable she is. But instead of learning to purse her lips for pictures, wear her best outfit to get attention and — God, help us — find her worth in her appearance, I hope she understands that her beauty runs deep and can’t be hidden by extra weight or embellished by longer eyelashes.
2. She’s loved. We love her, regardless of her disposition, performance, actions and decisions. Daddy’s love will be active and tangible, by way of discipline, piggy-back rides and long talks about ponies or boys or whatever. Mommy’s love will be nurturing and unhindered by her control issues. (Does mapping out the lessons you want your six-month-old to learn count as controlling?)
3. We all mess up. Even though we’ll try to love her the best way we can, we’ll screw up and make mistakes. We’ll apologize, later she’ll tell her counselor about the ways we hindered her childhood and the world will keep spinning. And she’ll screw up. She’ll get in trouble and make mistakes and fail and that’s supposed to happen.
What are the most important lessons or things you want your kids to know?