Today is International Women’s Day my sweet girl.
Some people will make this political but I like to believe that this is just a celebration of the amazing women who have lived and loved and the women who will continue to live and love. I am so lucky to be sitting here and writing this to you. One day I will tell you story of how you almost weren’t here. About how an infection ravaged my body and I almost didn’t make it. I’ll tell you how I had to have a machine breathe for me. About how I don’t remember any of it but later saw notes of questions I asked my doctors. The first one was, “Will I ever be able to have another child?” You see, I wanted you then, even as I was fighting for my very breath. I will tell you about the moments in the following year that I would break down and cry because I was sick again. Because I was so tired. Because I questioned whether I was a good enough mother to your brothers. Because I questioned whether I even deserved to have another baby.
My sweet girl, you are the definition of a miracle. You are a dream come true. I imagine every day about how you and your brothers will change the world. There will be challenges but the biggest obstacles you will face will be the ones you set for yourself. I’ve been thinking a lot of things I want to pass down to you and I think today is a good day to start.
God has given you two ears and one mouth. I want you to listen more than you speak. I want you to know that sometimes the louder you talk, the less people will hear you. I want you to know that what you do is more important than what you say. And I want those things you do to be good and kind and full of love. I want you to remember that doing those things quietly and without recognition is important. The moment you start looking for a pat on the back for being a good person is the moment you begin to lose yourself. But don’t be mistaken; I do not want you to be silent. Just like a builder measures three times and cuts once, I want you to think three times before you talk. Are you adding something good to this world? Are you spreading love and not hate? Will you be proud of yourself when you reflect back on it? Do your words come from a place of compassion? Are they based in strength?
I want you to learn to shut out the noise. Oh, there is so much noise! And most of it will tell you that you are not good enough. That you have to lose weight, make straight A’s, get a job, (no!) stay home and raise your own kids, wear the right clothes, contour your face, or fight for women’s rights, or baby’s rights, or shut up and know your place. All that noise is so confusing, baby. It can be deafening. Paralyzing. When all that noise starts to smother you I want you to close your eyes. Look inside your heart. Take some deep breaths. Feel the ground under your feet, the wind in your hair. Pray. Hit your knees if you must. Talk to your people. I hope that I will always be the person you run to when it gets confusing. Because I will remind you of who you are.
You are light and love. You will make this world a better place, one good and kind thing at a time.