I love to write letters and I find it easier to write my thoughts. Sometimes, when I say things, they don't come out quite the way I intended. Writing is so much easier for me.
I have a notebook that I periodically write letters for my children in. They read them now and my hope is that they'll read them again when they're older.
I wanted to share a letter I wrote to my daughter on New Year's Day. I was talking about some of it with a friend and she asked if she could read a copy. I gave it to her and she suggested sharing on my blog. Here it is. Because some of it references specific people, I took names out.
Letter to my daughter: January 1, 2014
You are such a beautiful little girl with a strong spirit. I love your sense of humor and your quick wit. You definitely inherited your sarcasm from me. I love watching you grow up!
I don't know if you will remember the Christmas break this year (2013). The day it started, (our neighbor)'s granddaughter's boyfriend broke into their house and started beating (granddaughter) up. They called Daddy and he called 911 and ran over to help. I had to go over, too, because the guy was hurting (neighbor) and (granddaughter). You were very scared and begged me not to go but I had to. It was the right thing to do because they needed help. Before I went, I made sure you were safe and I locked you and your brother inside the house so no one could get in.
What happened and what I saw made me start thinking about your generation. When I was a little girl, I watched Star Wars and wanted to grow up like Princess Leia, kicking some Imperial Army butt. I didn't watch things like Twilight because the girls on shows like that are so silly. Who wants to wait around for a man to rescue you? I know a lot of your friends watch Twilight and want to be like Bella. True love is great but, I promise, it won't come as a werewolf or as a vampire!
There are a few things I wanted to write down so that I don't forget them. I hope that I am successful in teaching these lessons to you. If you want to ever talk about any of them, I would love to talk with you.
Here goes! Ten things I want you to learn from me:
1. Don't wait to be rescued. Rescue yourself. There are real life heroes but they are few and far between. Most people will choose not to get involved so waiting for a hero to show up might take awhile. You have the right to rescue yourself. Do it.
2. Stop panicking and start thinking. When you panic, you quit thinking. Take a second and think things through. What should you do? What should you not do? Are you safe where you are at? Do the smart thing, not the emotional thing.
3. Marry someone who wants to take care of you but don't need anyone to take care of you. You don't want to have to always be the one that has to take care of everyone emotionally and physically. This way, you will always have support when you need it but you can share in things equally.
4. Don't fight every fight but do fight the ones that matter. Decide what is important to you and fight those fights. Let everything else go. It's not worth it.
5. No one should ever lay a hand on you. Ever. Don't throw the first punch but, if someone else does, fight back and fight hard. You don't have to take it. You are not a punching bag.
6. You are in charge of your own happiness. Don't expect someone else to make you happy. Surround yourself with things and people that make you happy. If you feel yourself falling into a funk, do what you need to do to pull yourself out.
7. Everyone makes bad decisions. You will, too. Fix it, if possible. Face the consequences. Get over it. Learn from it. Move on. Making the same bad decision over and over is not acceptable.
8. Don't remain a victim. If something bad happens, if you become a victim, don't let it define you. You have the choice to stand up, deal with it and move on. If you use it as an excuse or let it overtake your life, you've let the bad guys win. Ask for help if you need it.
9. You will be guilty by association. If you surround yourself with bad people who do bad things, you will be looked upon as such. It doesn't matter if you're the angel among the devils.
10. It is okay to cut people out of your life. You can only give so much of yourself before there is nothing left to give those who really deserve the best part of you, like your spouse and children.
Sammy, above all, know that I love you and would do anything for you. You can always come talk to me. Nothing you ever do will make me stop loving you.
Love, always and forever,