A Letter To My Daughter: I Never Want This World To Break You Down

Every day, I look at you in awe.   Your ear-to-ear smile and contagious laugh make me wonder – are you the Happiest Little Girl on the face of the planet?   There are so many ways to look at a child and see pure joy, but quite possibly, That Smile of yours is what takes the cake.

Your enthusiasm for learning anything new is inspiring.   Your confidence in trying new things is something that many adults don’t possess.   Sure, you reach roadblocks, and frustrations, and fear, but you don’t ever stress about the process of trying something new.   You don’t worry about whether you’re the best or first at something.   At the end of the day, your commitment to learning, trying and achieving is remarkable.   On the other side, whether you’ve finished colouring a picture, or whether you’ve earned a swimming badge, your feelings of achievement and pride pour out of you with That Smile.

As your late Grandfather would have said, you are that little girl who “walks into a room like she owns the place.”  On the outside, the rest of the world might see your beautiful head of curly hair, sparkly blue eyes, and dimples complimented by That Smile.   On the inside, however, those closest to you see an unparalleled confidence – a child still so innocent, fearless, and full of love to give, that never in a million years would she ever dim her light to cater to anyone in her presence.

I’m here to tell you, my Happy Little Girl, to never change that.   Ever.   Don’t change a thing.   It would break my heart to see you lose even an ounce of happiness, but I know it won’t be easy, because the world is a both an infinitely beautiful and ugly place.   I know that people won’t always treat you with kindness.   I know that there will be people that may try to make you feel less than.   I know that you will ultimately face situations of immense difficulty.   But, I don’t want the world to break you down.   I don’t want you to lose That Smile.

If I fast forward a couple of years, I know you’ll be a grade-schooler.   You’ll start to see grades and scores on a report card.   I don’t want you to use those grades or scores to feel any differently about yourself.   If you’re happy with your grade, that’s wonderful, because you probably worked hard to earn it.   If you’re unhappy with your grade, did you try your best?   Or was there an opportunity to improve?    Because if you tried your best, that is ultimately all the self-satisfaction you need.   If there’s a opportunity where you could have tried harder or improved, that is part of learning, and growing.  Please, never measure something like a grade or score as a reflection of your worth.   There is so much more to life than that.  And, I don’t want the world to break you down.  I don’t want you to lose That Smile.

If I fast forward a few more years, I know you’ll be a tween.   And then a teen.   And right now, my biggest concern being the mother of a daughter, is that you might one day equate your self-worth with the “likes” from an Instagram post.   You might one day look in the mirror and decide that your thighs aren’t perfect.  You might one day decide to purposefully silence yourself, hold yourself back, or dim your light, just to make others feel more comfortable in your presence.   But, I don’t want the world to break you down. I don’t want you to lose That Smile.

If I fast forward even more years, I know you’ll be a young adult.   And then perhaps a working professional.   And then perhaps a mom, a wife – if that’s what you choose.  You might face relationship, career, parenting, or financial challenges.    None of these things should define your worth – and as tough as any of these types of hurdles can be, as long as you have your health, you have everything.   You may feel that a significant portion of your worth is defined by any of these identities or challenges, but I assure you, it is not.   Your worth precious – you can’t put a price on it.  I don’t want the world to break you down.  I don’t want you to lose That Smile.

You came into this world as my first child, and I’ve been thankful to you for choosing me as your mom ever since.  You’ve reminded me that there was a time when we were all like you – infinitely powerful, happy, enthusiastic, and confident.    Innocent children, with boundless love to give to the world.   For most people, many of those qualities are lost from the World taking it’s toll.   For many, it takes years to get even a shred of their inner, confident child back.  Some never get it back.   In my ideal world, however, we are all like you, My Happy Girl.   Imagine what kind of world we would live in if there were no doubts, no insecurities, no fears – only love, confidence, and happiness.

I’m here to remind you, My Happy Girl, that under no circumstance does your confidence need to be shaken.   Under no circumstance are you ever to see yourself as any less than the beautiful human that you are.  I don’t want the world to break you down.   I don’t want you to ever, ever lose That Smile.

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