Dear Daughter: I wish for you to read this with an open mind. I hope you’re ready for what this letter has to say, and for the wild ride that is high school.
It was a long night. I couldn’t help but wonder where the time had gone. People often say, “enjoy every moment because time doesn’t stand still.” I guess it took a day like today to make me realize that.
I remember the day you were born. After a long four days of agonizing labor, you decided it was finally time to make your big debut. I remember staring into your beautiful blue eyes and thinking, “now what?” I had read all the books, but to have you in my arms was a much different story. I quickly realized that parenting was a mix of feeling overwhelmed with blessings, and terrifying fear at the same time.
Just three short weeks after you were born, I myself, had to head back to high school. Since I had you one month after starting my senior year, I knew I had a rough path ahead of me. That didn’t matter at the time. I knew God gave me you for a reason, and I may have made a mistake, but He didn’t.
Thank you for teaching me so much about life, myself, parenting and countless other things.
Now that it’s your first day of high school, here are a few words of wisdom for your exciting four-year journey:
- When you are going through tough times, just remember there is always hope. Never ever lose faith.
- Anything and everything that’s happening to you matters to me and it matters to God. Talk to us and you will never be alone.
- People can be nice and people can be mean. Please, always stay kind.
- Boys won’t give you a future. Their characters don’t always match their cute looks. Always trust your inner voice (God). Remember, books first and boys later!
- You are precious. Your body, your mind, and your soul will be destroyed by drugs. Whatever temporary feeling you think they’ll give doesn’t compare to the permanent damage they’ll cause. Simply say no.
- Anyone that tries to lure you into drugs, alcohol, sex or any other wrongdoing is not your friend.
- You will experience different and unique people at your new high school. Embrace them. This will get you ready for the real world.
- Never compare yourself to anyone else. You are your own person. Please promise to always be you.
- Help others as you would want them to help you. Make your high school a better place through the gift of kindness.
- Remember to have fun! There’s no rush to grow up. Enjoy everything high school has to offer. Try new sports, take a class you didn’t think you would enjoy. There are no retakes.
- Give 110 percent. Put in the extra effort to study, make new friends and get involved. Opportunities are awaiting you, but you have to go get them.
- Believe in yourself. When you believe you deserve great things, great things will come your way. If you believe in yourself the way I believe in you, many things will make sense.
- Pray boldly and without any limits.
A few mistakes I made today:
- I started crying when we pulled into your’ school’s parking lot. Sorry, I should have been brave for you. I just couldn’t seem to control it.
- I tried to hold your hand in the cafeteria and I promise to not do it again. (Not really.)
- When I got back in the car I cried for another 20 minutes.
I pray that you embrace this new adventure with all your heart. High school will not be easy but nothing in life worth having is. I pray for your safety and the safety of your school. I pray you are blessed abundantly during this time. I pray you are filled with the strength, courage and the determination you need to accomplish BIG things. I pray for teachers who will light a fire in your soul and fill it with a passion for all things good.
I love you, my dear daughter.
Two weeks after my seventeenth birthday I found myself in the bathroom of a Burger King two blocks away from my high school. I was taking a pregnancy test on my lunch break. It showed a bright pink line almost instantly. I for sure thought I wasn’t reading it right. My friend and I went back to her house, ordered a pizza and waited for the urge to pee again. This couldn’t have been real. I was taking nursing classes at the Tech Center and I had plans for my life. This was not one of them. To my surprise, the second test came back just as positive as the first. All I could do was cry.