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 every time 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.

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.