“My Darling Daughter… my mother once told me that as you got older the joys that come with raising a child would be greater and unfortunately the worries and sorrows would as well. When she told me this I never quite understood it. I was pregnant at the time, and I worried about everything. Every flutter inside of me. Every hiccup you had, and every doctor’s appointment I went to. But like most mother’s are, my mother was (as is) right. You are now at the age where not everything in the world is full of wonder. You are getting left out of games in the playground at recess, and I have no doubt you have also left others out from time to time. You understand what it means to be hurt. What it means to not be included, and how much pain words can bring.
I remember all too well going through this as a child and unfortunately as an adult. I remember being called names in the hallways at school. I remember not being invited to playdates and being left out of the games in the playground. But I also remember calling people names. I remember taking part in events, which I now deeply regret. While I came home on numerous occasions crying in the arms of my mother, I have no doubt I was the cause of tears for others as well. It took a long time for me to realize how good it finally feels to be able to stand comfortably on my own two feet and not worry so much about what others think.
Here is my advice to you as you continue to thrive…
`1. Find friends who love you for you. You should never be put into a position where you are forced to pick one friend over another in an “or else” moment.
2. Do not lie. Be true to yourself and your friends. Be honest. Integrity is everything.
3. If something does not feel right it is likely because it isn’t. This will forever be true from now until you are 100 years old.
4. Own it. If you made a mistake, if you hurt someone, admit it. It is much easier to learn from mistakes than carry the weight of the guilt inside of you. You will gain respect. It is better to be respected than liked.
Right now lots of people are hurting. Connection today is not like it was a year or 18 months ago. It will be back. It will just take a little time. And because the world has altered the way people are acting has no doubt shifted as well.
You summarized everything beautifully for me just the other day… “Mom, what if the world was like your heart right now. You know when you had a hole in it. When you had your ‘heart stroke’. So the world has a hole right in the center of it. And like your heart, it needs to be sewed closed. Your heart was fixed. The world can also be fixed. The hole in the world is covid. This can get better like you did.”
How does she know this? Because she is being given the tools to adapt, to grow, and to show compassion. She is slowing learning that while life is beautiful it is also painful at times. But with kindness and compassion comes healing. And we can all still learn from the amazing healing our daughters teach us each and every day.