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Ten things I want my daughters to know:
1. Don’t be a mean girl. What you say about others says more about you than it does them. Choose kind words and steer clear of toxic negativity.
2. Your education comes before anything else. Even if we win the lottery tomorrow, you’re getting that college degree.
3. Be fierce. A force to be reckoned with, not messed with. (Fierce isn’t mean, my dears.)
4. I’m going to read your text messages and look at your social media accounts (like it or not). Chances are, that will mean I know more about your friends than their parents do. But you are my concern.
5. I want better for you than what I had. Every parent does. That being said, I’m not going to do everything right. I hope that even on my worst, most stressful days you know Mom tried her best, as I know you will with your children someday.
6. There’s a reason I always have a camera pointed at you. So many of my own childhood photos were destroyed (or went undeveloped), and I never want you to forget a single moment we shared together. (Might be an overcorrection, but I make no apologies.) Whether we’re making slime in our pajamas on a snow day or taking a fancy vacation, I want you to have those images preserved forever.
7. Your dad and I would go to the ends of the earth for you. But please know that not all family can be counted on. Blood or no blood, surround yourself with people who show their love for you and continuously prove it. Words can be shallow. Promises can go unfulfilled. And when those cuts are made, they never fully heal. Trust me.
8. You and your sister should never stop being each other’s biggest cheerleaders. You’re so wildly different in personality and how you approach life, but your love for each other is the fiercest bond I’ve ever seen. You may only share the DNA you get from Dad, but you are 100 percent sisters.
9. Be patient with your dad and I as you grow and start to want more independence. Selfishly, I’d keep you little forever if I could. Letting go (even just loosening the reins) is hard.
10. Life is a beautiful thing. Don’t waste a single day second guessing who you are, who is worth your time, or not doing something that makes you smile.