Dear children,

Remember that if someone doesn’t love you, it’s just one person’s opinion.

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comedy

Dear Daughter,

I can’t wait until you’re old enough to watch my favorite comedies with you. Some of my favorite memories are watching things my parents love with them. I’m sure I’ll annoyingly quote them as we’re watching and ruin the delivery of the actors for you.

I also hope you’ll share your favorite things with me. It’s okay if it’s too inappropriate. I made my mom watch Life of the Party with me and she was like, “That’s kind of inappropriate” after, but she also laughed while we were watching it. As moms we have to say stuff like that just so we seem like good moms. But that was one of my favorite moments with my mom. I think laughing with people is the best. I hope your life is full of laughter and I’ll do my best to make sure it is. We have to cry sometimes too, but it’s best to laugh as much as you can.

I’ll try to not show you too much inappropriate stuff before you’re ready. I hope you stay young and innocent as long as possible. I hope for a while we watch things and the jokes go over your head. I hope you don’t learn too many weird things from the kids at school. Just remember they’re probably idiots who don’t actually know what they’re talking about.

You can ask me about anything. Please do. It’ll be weird, but better if you hear stuff from me. My mom was a nurse and I learned way too much about my body from her, but I still wish I had asked more questions. I hope we have the kind of relationship where we can ask each other anything.

Oh, boys.

Dear Daughter,

If you inherit even part of my brain you’re going to be obsessed with boys. My apologies in advance. I fall for them so easily. It’s embarrassing. Almost as embarrassing as the fact I never spell embarrassing right the first time. There are two R’s. Back to boys. Good gosh. They’ll get you with their good smell or their deep voice or their oh-so-casual but heart melting half-smiles. You know those many things that make the biology kick in and say, this person will give you strong offspring, go to them. 

And while I want to say, avoid boys, they’re trouble. They’re also really great. For kissing or for friendship, they can really be quite useful. There have been some very, very good men in my life. Your grandpa, of course, because, as he always told me, he’s been the only boy I can count on. But also the boys that have come and gone in my life have shaped me into who I am and provided me with some great stories.

Honestly, baby, at this point, I’m not sure you’ll even have a father. I’m not doing so well on the whole finding and keeping a man thing. I’ve made some poor choices in men and I’ve also not been able to hold onto some good choices. And some were a combination of both those things.

Every relationship is a lesson be it romantic, platonic, or a combination of both. Thanks to boys I’ve learned a lot of things. No fewer than three boys tried to teach me how to drive a stick-shift. Boys have held me when I cried, as much as I didn’t want them to know I was crying. Boys have helped me fix things around the house. Helped me buy a car. Boys have helped me make movies and write musicals.

At some point in your life, you’ll probably lose all faith in men. Your friends will tell you of things that happen to them or you’ll hear things on the news. You’ll have your own experiences. But I promise they aren’t all bad. 

I hope

Oh, Baby,

I hope you never get assaulted. And if you do, I hope people believe you. This is something I can’t protect you against, and I wish I could. I’m going to teach you to be strong and confident, but if something happens it’s not because you weren’t strong enough or confident enough. And if people don’t believe you, it’s not because you aren’t eloquent, it’s not because you aren’t telling the truth. It’s because sometimes people don’t believe things that feel too hard to believe. It’s hard to believe that people who are good can also do bad things. But I’ll believe you. And if for some reason I don’t, remind me that I promised to always believe you.

Broken Hearts

Dear Daughter,

I hope you’ll come to me the first time your heart gets broken. By a boy or by a friend or by whoever it might be. Of course I’ll wrap my arms around you and tell you how amazing you are. You won’t care what I’m saying because you wanted those words from someone else. Of course, you’ll think, my mom has to love me. But I want you to know that one day I realized that my mom’s opinion of me was what I cared most about. Because she was the one who had been with me the longest, she knew who I really was. She sees me as more than my mistakes. So I hope you believe me when I say you’re amazing. Because I’ve known you the longest. I’ve got dibs on knowing you.

And I hope you know broken hearts do heal. You won’t believe it at first, but it’s true. While trying to comfort you I’ll probably say something annoying. When I was going through my worst breakup my mom kept saying, “You’re just doing so well.” And everytime she said that I would cry. Because I didn’t feel like I was doing well. It just set me off every single time, but she meant well. So sorry in advance for saying things that make you feel worse. But I also realized people saying something wrong was better than them saying nothing at all. They were just trying to show their love the best way they know how.

Never forget that it’s not what others think of you, but how you feel about yourself that matters most. You can love yourself even when no one else does. It feels impossible, but it’s not. I dare you to love yourself more than anyone else loves you, even me. And I love you a lot.

A Handful of Shorter Thoughts

I don’t know if I’ll ever have daughters but I’m afraid by the time I do I will have forgotten how hard it is to grow up as a girl. I often think of what I will want to tell her/them and I don’t want to forget. Obviously this can apply to the boys as well.

 

Dear Daughter,

Be funny. A sense of humor will help you through everything. I hope you know you can be funny. I’m assuming, since you’ll grow up in a post-Tina-Amy-Amy-Mindy-Chelsea-Melissa-Kristen-Leslie-Elizabeth-Jennifer-etc-etc world you’ll know that but I’m afraid that you won’t. Someday I’ll teach you about Lorne Michaels and Paul Feig and everything they did for us. If for some reason you’re not funny I will think about disowning you but I probably won’t actually.

 

Dear Daughter,

I am really excited for you to listen to Taylor Swift as you go through your teenage years. It’s too bad she didn’t do anything after her Red album.

 

Dear Daughter,

If I ever tell you you can’t wear something please assume I have your best interest in mind, but also feel free to remind me that I have worn the following things: knee-high bright orange boots (with a white skirt and green shirt to look like the Irish flag for St Patrick’s Day), wolf leggings, trucker hats, neon colored high-tops, striped sequined pants, and worse.

 

Dear Daughter,

You can take your husband’s last name if you want to.

 

Dear Daughter,

There’s no such thing as a sensible career, only the career you love and the career you love to work hard at.

 

Dear Daughter,

If someone is touching you in a way you don’t like I want you to tell them to stop. If they don’t stop immediately I want you to punch them in the face and run. We’ll deal with the consequences later.

 

Dear Daughter,

Forgive me because I’ll probably name you something other kids will make fun of but at least you won’t have to have your last initial on your name tag.

 

Dear Daughter,

Don’t tell the other kids you know Santa’s not real…or at least break it to them gently.

 

Dear Daughter,

Try not to fall for guys who spend more on jeans than you do.

While we’re at it, don’t fall for their dog or their mom or their sister or their nieces or their car or whatever else it is. At the end of the day you’re stuck with the person and no one else.

 

Dear Daughter,

When I was a teenager the only person I’d cry in front of was my mom. I hope you’re not as emotionally stunted as I was but it’s okay if you are. I’ll be there for you when your heart gets broken. I will always believe you can be anything you want to be. I will defend you.

I’ve had my heart broken by boys, friends, teachers, and other people I trusted not to let me down and you will too. I will probably say something like “life’s tough but your tougher” or “just get over it” but it’s okay if you tell me you don’t want to hear it. We can just cry and eat grilled cheese and french fries together or over the phone.

 

Dear Daughter,

Never pay full price for anything.

 

Dear Daughter,

Hermione was the real hero.

 

Dear Daughter,

Sometimes actions don’t speak louder than words. People will kiss you and tell you they don’t want to date you and you should believe them. Keep kissing them if you want, just know they ain’t going to change their mind about wanting to date you.

 

Dear Daughter,

Show people your best, but also show them your worst. See if they can love all of you.