It’s been done before. Sue me.

A letter to my child. When she is old enough to read. And swear.

Hey babe. I’m your mum. I’m not sure who let that happen, and I’m not sure about your feelings on the matter, but I’m pretty happy about it. I will apologise for that haircut you had when you were nine though – who knew a ten dollar ‘do would be such a bad idea?

Now, I don’t know what the world will look like when you are as old as I am now. Actually, there is a lot I don’t know. Like why people put dogs in their handbags. Or how America’s Funniest Home Videos is still on air. However, there are some things that I do know, and in case I haven’t told you them by now (and since my memory is already shockingly selective) I’m writing them down for you. On the Internet. Obviously.

Firstly: Someone will break your heart. It doesn’t make them evil, and it doesn’t make you stupid, but you’re allowed to think both of those things. For a little while. If the same person breaks your heart again though, well shit girl, you might be a little bit stupid…

You might also break someone else’s heart. That also feels shitty. Forgive yourself. Eventually.

Please be kind. Sometimes it’s really easy to be an asshole. I know, because I’ve been one. A huge, gaping one. Sometimes being kind is hard, but so is learning to walk, and I’m sure you’ve got the hang of that by now.

If you don’t know the difference between your and you’re by now, there is a chance you may not actually be my kid. And if I ever see you write defiantly where you mean definitely, well, I’m sure it won’t be too late to adopt you out.

There are two things I hope I’ve taught you to say. The first is I’m sorry. Sometimes it won’t be enough, sometimes it will. Sometimes you won’t realise how much you needed to say it, or how much the other person needed to hear it. Say it and mean it, even if it’s hard. Especially if it’s hard. The second thing I hope you know how to say is I love you. Some people will try to tell you it’s overused. Fuck. That. If you feel it, say it. Be vulnerable, and don’t ever let anyone tell you that’s weak.

Sometimes the only thing to do is to dance around your house in your underwear. It’s cheaper than therapy, and if you forget to close the curtains it makes the neighbours laugh. Or have you committed, I don’t know what your neighbourhood is like.

The last thing I want you to know is this: Sometimes the world is a really ugly place. Usually it’s hard to understand why. Often it will make you feel sad, or angry, or defeated, or afraid. Please don’t let it make you bitter. Let it make you compassionate and brave, and let it remind you that we are all connected. Don’t take the ugliness into your own heart, or you will miss the things that are beautiful.

You’re alright kiddo. As far as sidekicks go, I’m glad I’ve got you. I love you.

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