Monday, December 17, 2007

A Note to a Newborn Girl

A friend of mine is about to give birth to her first child. Her and her husband asked all of their friends to write little letters to the soon-to-be-arriving little girl on how to be a confident, well-rounded, young woman. These letters will be assembled into a scrapbook, which will be held until the girl is a bit older.

I was having a bit of trouble with the assignment, since I'm not exactly a poster-child for well-adjusted-ness, but I thought I would share what I wrote . . .

If anyone has any other advice to add, please feel free to do so in the comments!


Dear [Baby Girl]

First, I want to say that you are very lucky to have two of the most awesome parents in the world! They love you very, very much. You may not realize how much now, but you will when you get much older. There may be a lot of bad things going on in the world at the moment, but there are also a lot of amazingly wonderful things going on too, and your parents will help lead you on that journey.

Your parents asked many of us to write a little note to you before you were born on how to be a confident, well-rounded, young woman. At first, I did not know what to write because it took me a REALLY long time to figure that out myself . . . and in many ways I am still learning how, even after 37 years on this earth.

So my words may be a bit of a cliché, and have probably been written by many other people, but I learned them the hard way and sometimes the oldest words are the truest . . .

Be open.

Always be open to learning. Read EVERYTHING you can get your hands on. Travel. Learn about other cultures and religions. Be a sponge. Find out how things work. Know how to fix things by yourself (or know where to take them to be fixed.) Talk to cool people. Ask lots of questions. More information is always better than less. The world becomes a wonderful and interesting and fascinating place when you do that, you will very rarely be bored, and you will always have fascinating stories to tell.

Be yourself.

You are a unique individual. You will grow up to like certain things that other people may not. You will not like other things that other people do. That’s OK. Don’t do something just to fit in if you don’t like it, even though it may seem easier at the time, because it will make you miserable. People will love you for just who you are, and if they don’t . . . that’s OK too. It is always better to have one or two REAL and TRUE friends, than have lots of people that you call friends who don’t care as much about the real you.

Be a friend.

Like people for who they are, not who you want them to be. Care about other people and their situations. Be generous with your smiles and your kindness – you never know when someone who is having a horrible day may take comfort in your small little act. Sometimes people are happy and want other people to share in their joy. Be happy with them. Sometimes people are scared and lonely and need someone to listen to them. Be a friendly ear (. . . but within reason. Your Mom and Dad can talk to you about that . . .) Know how to refer people to get more help when they need it. Be the kind of friend that you would want people to be for you, but also don’t expect people to always be a good friend back. Unfortunately, that happens sometimes, but most of the time people will surprise you with their generosity.

Be one with your common sense and intuition . . . Don’t take crap from anyone!

Sometimes a voice inside of you will tell you that something doesn’t seem right, that you should be wary of a situation. Listen to that voice. Don’t let anyone try to talk you out of it. You should always be able to walk away and take time to think about things if you are uncomfortable. Seriously! No one should pressure you into ANYTHING on the spot. Good intentioned people will always understand and let you have that space to decide on your own. Not very nice people often will try to rush you to do what they want. If you are uncertain, ask your parents or a trusted adult to help you decide. Even if they don’t have the answers, they can help you talk through things and think about things a bit better. Then, once you’ve thought about things and made a decision, people should respect that decision. They may not like it, but they should respect it.

That is my advice to you, my dear. It may not be the best advice, but it is what I have for now.

It is given with much love and affection from my heart and soul. Welcome to the world, young woman!

Random Kath


Virginia Gal said...

oh how lovely and what a sweet gift - if you don't mind a friend of mine is having a baby due in May and I might steal your idea and give her a similar letter to the baby.

I think all your advice is pefect..I would just add - Be Positive - I've learned through trial and error that what you put out comes back to you, the more positive you are, the more it will return to you.

mommanator said...

what a lovely idea!

CS said...

You did a wonderful job with the letter - wouldn't change a thing.