Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Dearest Daughter

To my dearest daughter, with the cherub cheeks, Ruth,

I saw online back sometime ago, where a mother wrote her daughter a letter each year on Mother's Day to share with her daughter things she needed to know and the dreams she had for such a little girl.  I like the idea, though it will probably be incorporated into your birthday letter, after all unlike this lady I have more than one little girl, and your brother has just as much need of life lessons to look back on.  This is nearly a week late, as Mother's Day was last Sunday, but don't complain after all you flushed one of my earrings down the toilet this week.

Ruth, the one thing I have most on my mind lately is the desire that you know that you can grow and learn and become anything that your heart desires.  No, I don't mean that you can grow up to become a lion when you get older, there are some things that just aren't possible.  However, I think the list of truly impossible things is much shorter than most people imagine it to be.  You are only limited in this life by your drive and willingness to learn.  If you work hard and apply yourself you can be anything; you can do anything.

Your Grumps use to tell me much the same thing, and believing what he said was true, has carried me further in life than my own natural talent would have alone.  I use to dream as a child of being the first astronaut to travel to Jupiter.  I didn't have a natural talent for math, I had to work very hard at it, and Grumps had to spend alot of hours checking homework and patiently coaching me and teaching me again and again concepts that I just didn't readily grasp.  If I had pursed it in college.  There is no doubt in my mind that I would right now, just be waiting for the technology to be ready to get me to Jupiter.

Dreams can change, but don't be afraid to chase them.  Follow them and try them on, you might discover that you actually hate that path, or you might stumble across another path that will take you where you want to go.  You may dream of being a financial analyst on Wall Street, or perhaps of traveling the world working on archaeological digs, or you might long to teach children, or work in a hospital, or start your own business.  You might long for a life of glamour and prestige or you might long for a life of simplicity and quite obscurity.  Your life is full of many choices, choices you are free to make, don't be afraid to try.

There are two forces that will very often be warring for your attention.  There is the Ultra-Feminist Movement.  They will tell you that you must work, be wildly successful, make more and do more than any man in a position, so that you can then go to the store and select the low sodium, fat-free, organic bacon, and then come home and not fry it (because that wouldn't be healthy) but bake it.  They want you to be Superwoman.  There is also the Ultra-Christian Conservative.  They will tell you that you must never work, your greatest achievement will be in serving a man and never having an opinion of your own, so he will tell you what bacon to buy with the money he allows you, and then you will cook it the way he prefers to please him.  They want you to be the ultimate in self-sacrificing womanhood.

My dearest daughter, you will have to learn like all of us to balance many things in life.  At times you will be Superwoman balancing the many demands of life, at times you will be the ultimate in self-sacrifice because there are those you love who have great needs.  Only you can determine who you are and where along that continuum your path lies.  I am here to tell you that ultimately it is your life and that you can pretty much do anything with it.  Don't let anyone's notions of proper or fitting or lady-like behavior force you into a mold that is not yourself.  Now, your Momma isn't telling you to invent any morals you choose, right is right and wrong is wrong, but look for yourself at the Bible, read and see what it says.  Use those critical thinking skills.  The Lord gave you a brain, use it.  Use your talents.

Ruth, as your mother I am convinced that you are a great blessing from God not only to me but to this world, you might discover the cure for cancer or birth the next president, perhaps you'll do both.  I just want to encourage you to test the limits in life, to not sit idly by waiting for life to happen, but to make the most of it and chase your dreams.  Right now your only dreams and ambitions involve how to get more snuggle time and the best path to convincing me that you do indeed need another cookie.  When you are trying to test all boundaries and get that cookie, I'm going to remind myself that I have encouraged you to test your limits.  And as always, no matter what,

I love you,
Momma

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