If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever. Winnie the Pooh

Monday, August 27, 2012

To My 16 Year Old Daughters, Love, Mommy

It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful.  No, your beauty should come from within you--the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.  This beauty will never disappear, and it is worth very much to God. 1 Peter 3:3

I recently read a blog post where the author wrote a letter to the '16 year old' she used to be.  It got me wondering....not what I would say to myself, but what would I say to my 16 year old daughters. 

My Sweet Girls are only 6 and 3 now, but time is flying and before I know, it they will be 16. 

So Darling Girls, here is what my heart wishes to tell the older you.  The teenage you.  The you you will be, before I can blink:

Dear 16 year old Claire and Madeline,

I know it's unbelievable, but I too used to be 16.  If I could go back in time I would tell myself: Nicole, you are going to have a beautiful family. A beautiful life.  Take some of the worry you carry on your shoulders and give it to God.  He will take it all.  But this letter isn't to me, it's to you.  So I would tell you both the same: don't hold on to your worry.  Let it go and focus on what you can do and change and be.

When you were little girls, you laughed loudly, loved fiercely, and held your heads tall.  I vaguely remember myself as a young girl and I too acted much like you.  But time went by and something happened.  In my heart I lost the innocence of laughing loudly, I became too worried about what other's would think.  Here's what I wish for you:  never, ever, worry about what others' think. 
Comparison will steal your joy and the light that makes you sparkle and shine.  Laugh loudly.  Be proud of who you are.  You are the perfect you.  

And my head was held high at one point in my childhood, yet it started to droop.  By the time I was 16 I was trying to hide in my own skin.  I didn't think I was pretty enough.  Smart enough. Skinny enough.  I didn't think I was enough.    Here's what I want, no, here is what I need you to know:  Don't wish away who you are in the hopes you were someone else.  You are the only you in this world.  You are enough.

I loved but not for the right reasons.  I didn't realize my own self-worth.  I dated my high school sweetheart for over 5 years.  I wasn't strong enough to walk away from this boy who became a man.  His actions proved he didn't value me and treat me the way I deserved.  I wish I had the self-worth to take a stand and say: I deserve someone who is faithful.  Instead, I loved without truly being loved in return.  My wish for you at 16 is that you are strong enough on the inside to recognize your self-worth.  You are worthy of all that is good in this world.  Nothing less.

There is so much more (things about working hard, not doing drugs, going to college....).  But I'm afraid the 16 year old you doesn't want to hear more from your Mom.  Please know that I will always, always, love you.  No matter what choices you make.  What mistakes you make.  You will find your way.  Just as I eventually did.  But please hear your Mommy's plea: love love love yourself.  You are enough.  You are worthy.  You are the perfect you.

My heart bursts with joy in anticipation of seeing your beautiful 16 year old faces and knowing your beautiful 16 year old hearts.

                                                Kay Harmon Photography
"You make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of the dust. You make beautiful things you make beautiful things out of us." ~The Michael Gungor Band

Always and With Love,
Your Mommy