I have never been sure about having children. I’m the younger sibling, and I really enjoy being the baby of the family. Minus telling me to take one awful audiology class in college, my older brother normally gives good advice, and I have had the added benefit of watching him do everything first which includes having children. Let me be clear. I love my nephews. If I had to make a list of priorities, being the best aunt I can be to them would be in the top five. With that said, I have also seen how little sleep and time my brother and sister-in-law have with two little boys. For someone who has constantly waffled on the idea of kids, being around toddlers only made me question my ability to be a mother. As it turned out, my body made the choice for me. I found out when I was 25 that I couldn’t have kids.
Occasionally, I wonder what I would have been like as a mother. I wonder if my hypothetical daughter would have been anything like me. Deep down, I suspect my black little heart, two sizes too small, would have grown to love any child. Knowing I won’t have a daughter, there are still some things I wish I had the chance to tell her.
- Don’t wait for someone else to validate your existence. Self-esteem comes from within you.
- You are beautiful on the inside and outside, but the inner beauty matters more and stays with you far longer.
- Dignity and trust can’t be bought.
- It’s okay to cry sometimes. It’s okay to feel every emotion. Even if I could make the world perfect for you, I wouldn’t. Sadness and anger bring about change. Change is good.
- Never let someone tell you that you can’t do something. You can. And you will.
- You’re stronger than you know, but I will always be there to catch you anyway.
- Be passionate about everything you do.
- You will break someone’s heart, and someone will break your heart. When it mends, your heart will be stronger.
- A mistake is not the end of the world, and I won’t love you any less for it.
- Never trust a girl who says she can’t get along with other females. Half of the population is comprised of females. There is something wrong when a person can’t befriend half of the population.
- Never trust a boy who says all of the right things. The good ones will get awkward and tongue tied around you.
- Make a mess. Even when I inevitably put you in a dress that looks like a watermelon or some other piece of fruit, don’t be afraid to get dirty. Life is far too short not to play when you get the chance. Clothes can always be washed.
- Likewise, laugh at yourself. Laugh as much as you can. Laugh until your cheeks and stomach hurt.
- Don’t ever pass up the chance to sing or dance in your bedroom or the car.
- Expect to win. Learn to lose gracefully.
- Fail at something. I assure you the world won’t end, and your life won’t be ruined. Learning to get back up after a loss is so important.
- Stand by your beliefs. Sometimes, they are all you have, and sacrificing who you are is never worth it. Stand up for people who don’t always have a voice. You come from a long line of very loud people. Use your voice for good.
- Sometimes, there isn’t a right decision. There is just a choice. Make one and don’t look back again.
- You can’t fix people. Some people truly believe the “grass is always greener” somewhere else. It’s not true. Walk away from those people. Don’t let another person’s unhappiness become yours.
- My beliefs don’t have to be your beliefs. I don’t expect you to be just like me.
- Try not to be close-minded. The world would be an awfully boring place if we were all exactly alike. Embrace differences.
- Treat everyone with kindness. Do the right thing even when it’s not easy. Do the right thing even when no one is watching. We all share this planet, and ultimately, as humans, we have responsibilities to one another. No one does it alone.
- When you’re sad, sing Nat King Cole’s “Smile” under your breath. It has always been my go to song when I didn’t think I could get through something difficult. You will get through the hard things even when it feels like every piece of you is breaking and splintering. Things will eventually get easier, I promise. And life is always worthwhile.
- Before being in any friendship or relationship, you have to stand on your own two feet. Learn how to be alone. Learn how to be happy alone.
- You will have bad days and good days. You will do great things, and I will love you unconditionally everyday.
Some days, I just really wish I had the chance to tell her.