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To Baby Girl At Age 2

April 15, 2018
To Baby Girl At Age 2

To our daughter, who just turned two years old: We are truly so proud of you already. We are ecstatic to see you getting taller every time you wake up and we love listening to your newly-formed words. Mommy hears you taking her advisement: She taught you to say “help” when you required assistance or wanted a juice from the fridge. You say “help” and “I love you” and “tablet” and a host of other phrases that are clear and concise and situation-related. When daddy asks for a hug, you give him hugs and kisses. Your cuddles are sure and strong; your smile sparkles from your eyes. There is a lot of cuteness and a lot of sass about you. We can’t get enough. 

Please keep this: this is your glitter. Hold it tightly in a jar. Don’t spill it. Don’t allow anyone to take any out, including us. Don’t lose it. 

Admire it shining in darkness. 

Because the world won’t be kind to you due to your gender. Honestly, the world isn’t kind to girls. You will be pressured to conform to unfair standards, criteria based on how you should act and what you should look like, through the permeated culture around us. Social media will be canonized; it will dictate the behavior of your best girlfriend one summer to the point where you won’t recognize her. You may no longer be friends suddenly. It will hurt badly and make you cry.  

Mommy and daddy will be here for you. 

The world treats girls poorly. It is true. But it will strengthen your resolve and your authenticity. If you are anything like your mommy, you will be eight years old with boobie buds. The boys will ask to touch you. Or not ask. Read them. Mommy will have to buy a “real” bra because of your bounce and not a training one like some of the other girls in your class. Thank goodness creators now have colors and designs to pick from; at age eight, mommy had to pick from black, white, and “nude.” All pointy shaped, by the way. Shorts may appear too high up your leg because you will have thighs and hips; you will become upset at us because we will buy bermuda shorts only or no shorts at all. You’ll be pissed at us more than once, sometimes twice in a day. We understand. 

Mommy and daddy will be here for you. 

The world is mean. It won’t care that you have feelings, that your hormones are unreasonable and out of control this month. You will not want to do the V Sit and Reach in P.E., and your teacher won’t care. She’ll tell you that you’ll fail if you don’t do it. You’ll hate her for it. You will want to avoid the lunchroom one day and lie to the teacher to go to the bathroom on another and fall asleep in science by mistake. You’ll watch peers steal the hall passes and you may laugh or want to tell. That annoying boy will pull your ponytail again and you’ll get in trouble because you responded. You may get detention; you’ll be terrified to tell us, so you’ll say you’re staying back after school for tutoring, not knowing that the school already emailed us. You will be on punishment for lying, but daddy will retract it three days in.

Mommy and daddy will be here for you. 

Daddy says, yes, boys gossip. That’s just something you should know. Keep it in mind. 

High school will introduce a lot of highs and a lot of lows. There will be pubic hair and you may need glasses. Mommy knows the frustrations. You’ll want to aspire to be like the Homecoming Queen, but you will feel bad for her and the expectations she’s forced to hold to maintain her popularity, especially when rumors about her start. You won’t know if it is more impressive to wear sweats or a skirt, jeans or leggings or a dress. Your period may start one month and stain your butt, but, thank goodness, your best friend will catch it before you get embarrassed and give you her gym shorts to wear until mommy can bring your change of clothes. You may be forced to choose between sitting with her and a new lunch table group. Pick her. She is a beautiful person; defend her when she is picked on for being born a boy. People will practice fellatio on bananas and talk about positions and stamp themselves with numbers. They’re probably lying, I promise.   

When you “like like” a boy, you can keep it from mommy, but mommy will still know. It will emerge in how you act. Mommy and daddy have both been there…we’re not that old. We’ll have to take your cell phone to refocus your energy. You may contemplate sneaking out, but know you couldn’t get by your big brother and the dog. Remember this, you hear? You’ll feel conflicted most of the time because of puppy love. It’s shocking and enchanted, especially when reciprocated. It’s completely supernatural, we know. It will be okay. If it ends, it will burn like hell. Pour out your grief, then keep going. Take a full day…or a week.

You’ll want to explore your body. Do it. There’s no shame in this. It’s your body.  

Even though the world will give you shit about it belonging to you. 

Mommy may talk a lot about her women’s college alma mater when the time comes, but will try not to insist you apply there. Okay, please apply there. You will not be forced to go. A free ride to school wins—you know how much mommy pays for student loans. Boys may act the same way they did in high school; only, by this point, you’ll have mental toughness and know Tae Kwon Do and have so much fantastic self-confidence that their compulsiveness won’t define your future relationships.  

Besides, you’ll always have Jrue for protection. And your big cousins. And even bigger uncles from Illinois.

The world will super suck in intervals. You will be paid less than your white male counterparts. You’ll be intended to put family over career and, when you don’t, it won’t be appreciated. Almost anything will feel more uphill because of your skin hue. You’ll feel angry about it. A female Presidential candidate, one who proposes better family healthcare and free college educations and paid maternity leave, will lose. It will be depressing. There will be more riots and worse natural disasters and undeniable, widespread sadness. Some people you know will die.

Mommy and daddy will be here for you when you just want to vent about it all or escape.

Daddy will still ask for hugs and you’ll probably laugh, but still give him hugs and kisses anyway. 

As final guidance, daddy says to always stay true to yourself and faithful to your best effort. You are built for “it,” whatever your “it” may be. You’re going to have to go with what makes you happiest, and we look forward to witnessing that progression. Hopefully, you will take into consideration all of the life lessons that we’ve given up to that point when you can make the best decisions for yourself. We trust that you absolutely will.  

Lastly, we pray for your felicity, even through struggles and pain. You’ll know how to love, which we showed, but you’ll also have to discover avoiding making life harder than it has to be. For example, resist loving from spite, or trying to stay with someone to prove wrong the people who are unsure about the relationship, but who still have your interests at heart. Time will move forward—it’s a certainty behind taxes and death. Allow no one to tell you otherwise. Find your way, but hold our hands, if needed.

Hold our hands.

Mommy and daddy are here. 

For now, it’s bedtime, little one. Sweet dreams.

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