To My Daughter: In Anticipation of 8 Becoming 18
Lily Kate, you turned 8 today, although plenty of times you speaks like you’re 18. Even older.
It both scares me and sends me in awe. It makes me frustrated and proud.
You will fight me over the littlest things sometimes- like if your clothes fit, when I know they do. Even when I show you on the tag and in the mirror they fit, you insist they don’t. Or vice versa.
But then you come up with these moments of brilliant arguing- and I know NOBODY will be able to mess with you someday. And I see how kind you can be- and how charming.
You are the bravest little girl that I know.
I am sometimes intimidated by you, as I think must be the case with so many mothers and daughters. I see everything in you that I wanted to be at age 8: beautiful, blonde (oh yes I so wanted to be a blonde!), whimsical, not afraid of anyone or anything, this ability to make friends with anyone you talk to…. you were the girl that I aspired to be at age 8.
And I’m so terribly afraid of something taking away your sunshine someday.
I want you to see a community of women around you who have moxie- I think about this as I reflect on meeting Jen Hatmaker last night- who are strong, who have faith.
I want you to embrace your faith, whether it’s the same as mine or if it changes over time. So long as you are always standing up for others in the face of injustices, just like you have now.
I want to teach you to be bold in the face of so many men- and women- who might try to take it from you. I want to teach you how to protect yourself when someone threatens you, to know when to guard yourself and when to fight. And how to pick yourself back up when life knocks you down. To know that you should never have to fight for what you deserve but to be prepared to do it when you need to.
To also be able to fight for all of those who need someone as strong as you, not everyone is so blessed.
You’re the little girl who stood up for her brother, and likely saved his life. Hold on to that.
With all of your moxie and stubbornness, I want you to know when to temper it- and when to listen to me, because I still have many lessons to teach.
We will get through this together, you and me Baby Girl, and I’m here forever.
I love you Sweet Girl-
photo credits: Pink Ellie Photography; Neal Carpenter
Molly McWilliams Wilkins
Molly McWilliams Wilkins is a Southern culture commentator, web producer, and social media marketing maven. She is also a freelance writer who has worked with a variety of publications and online magazines including Bourbon & Boots, Paste Magazine, Macon Magazine, the 11th Hour, Macon Food & Culture Magazine, and as the Digital Content Editor for The Southern Weekend. Mommy first, fashionista, social media maven, writer, artist, dreamer and poet. Hangs on to her Oxford Commas by force. Addicted to shoes and purses- and lots of coffee. Coffee coffee coffee.