Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter
Some day, you will be older
Taller
Wiser
Your hair will be longer than the strawberry wisps you have now and your mouth will have even more teeth

Dear Daughter
Some day, when you are older
There will be those who say “you can’t”
But I promise you, you can
You hold your destiny in your hands
Dear Daughter
Those hands stained with blackberries hold a world of possibilities, opportunities, dreams to be made into realities
They may try to stop you, Dear Daughter, discredit you, Dear Daughter, underestimate you, Dear Daughter, underpay you, Dear Daughter, ignore you, Dear Daughter, look past you, Dear Daughter, because you are a woman,
But, Dear Daughter, don’t let them
Rise above
Push through
Set their barricades ablaze
You are both the dragon and the dragon slayer
Warrior and beast
Capable of anything
Made of fire
Let them watch you burn bright

Dear Daughter
Someday, when you are older
You will see things that are wrong
Some will be obvious, others less so
Dear Daughter, speak up
I hope your voice is louder than mine
I hope your heart is so much bigger
I hope you have the courage to carry the banner farther than I ever could
I hope you forgive us, Dear Daughter
For leaving this world a fucking mess
For not doing more
For settling for less
Know your privilege, Dear Daughter
It’s there, don’t argue it, use it
Be an ally and a light and a beacon
Be love and compassion and justice
Be fierce, be so fierce, be unapologetic
Because no one should ever apologize for caring for someone else and their rights and dignity and lives
Speak for those who cannot speak
Bring life, bring love, bring change

Dear Daughter
Know that your body is yours
That “no” is not a dirty word
That sex is not dirty either
Know that you can dress how you please, act as you please, say what you please and don’t owe anyone anything with your body
You are not meat
You are not temptation
You are not goods or a commodity
You have full autonomy
You are to be respected for no other reason than you are human
Know that your body is wonderful as is
Decorate it as you wish, but do it for the joy it gives you and not to fit into a mold you were made to break

Dear Daughter
I wish for you a life of passion
A life of imagination
A life where storybook heroines become bosom friends and a painting brings you to tears and having the belief that there is indeed a song for every occasion
I hope your life is filled with bare feet in the sand and warm chocolate chip cookies and tearful conversations with lingering hugs
I hope for you to have deep kisses and deep love and that both leave you gasping for air
I hope you have days you’ll look back on for years and years and years with joy
I hope you let all the comments of “you’re too emotional” slide off you like rain on a windshield
Because what they really mean is they can’t fathom your passion and that’s really too damn bad for them

Dear Daughter
You are one in a million
You are the moon and stars
You are a never ending story with each chapter better than the last
You are my heart and your fathers love
You are brighter than any sun
You are passion and fire and delight
You are maddening and dizzying and unspeakable things I just don’t have the words for
You are light
You are love
You are my love
Dear Daughter
You are my love