A Vow To My Little Girl. (and any other little girls I may have.)
- That myself and my husband are proud to be the parents of you, as a girl. We embrace you any way you are. We will embrace you as you change throughout your life. Always.
- I will never comment about your weight negatively or positively, unless it is truly and only health related. Even then I will approach it from a health standpoint. I won’t ever say, “You look like you’ve lost weight,” or “You’ve gained weight,” or “Wow, you look skinny!” Even if these words are meant to be complimentary they focus too outwardly, and there is so, so many different ways to compliment rather than zoning in on weight.
- I will always compliment by means of, “Honey I’m so proud of you- you are so smart!” “You look beautiful,” or “Your hair is such a pretty style today.” “You can be whatever you want to be if you set your heart to it.”
- If anyone close to us is inadvertently focusing on your weight, or too much on your appearance rather than your talents and personality I will try to protect you from it and explain it to you, and have a private discussion with them about properly communicating and expressing feelings with you and lifting you up. If anyone suggests that something is “not for girls,” or “girls can’t do it,” I’ll tell you about the many women who were told that, and succeeded. And that you can be whatever you want, and do whatever you want no matter what anyone else says, because girls are just as important as anybody else. Everyone is equal.
- If you like wearing pink dresses, and having tea parties, you wear pink dresses. If you like to wear shorts and climb trees, climb trees! If you like to wear dresses and climb trees- do both! (With undershorts 😉 As a girl you can have any hero you want- Cinderella or Superman. You can do anything, wearing whatever you want.
- When you are older I will be open and honest with you. I will explain things in a way that isn’t so scary. I will tell you about your body parts, sex, and let you know that things will one day change. I will tell you about how sex is important and meaningful, and about love and relationships. I will let you know that you can come to me with any questions about your body, make-up, sex, boys or fashion and not feel uncomfortable.
- I will always, always, always hug and kiss you. I want you to feel comfortable with using your body to show someone you love them. You dad will always, always, always hug and kiss you. I want to also teach you that if someone touches you in a way that you don’t like, you have the right to tell them no. You can come to us with any concerns.
- I will not force you to hug or touch someone if you don’t want to. You are the owner of your body, even as a child. You are expected to be polite, and you can give a handshake or high-five. But as the owner of your body, you can say NO, your body is your body. One day you might go through a stage where you don’t want mom or dad to hug you in public- and as hard as it will be for us we will respect your wishes, and probably want double the hugs at home instead.
- You should never be made to feel ashamed of your body, because it’s such a small part of who you are. Your body is insignificant compared to your mind and soul.
- I will explain to you that you never have to seek out anyone’s approval. If you are hurt by a boy- he didn’t deserve you anyway, and even if we quietly stood back even though we didn’t like him- you can tell us all about it. We will never say, “I told you so.” Sometimes lessons are hard to learn, but we will always have faith in your choices.
- We will never call you names or degrade you. We will not allow your siblings to call you names or degrade you. We will explain to you that it is never okay to call names, or be called names. And we will teach you to have strength when standing your ground, even if it’s a boy who says he likes you and he calls you a name. It is never acceptable to emotionally or mentally abuse someone. It is obviously never okay to touch someone in an aggressive way, pushing, hitting or grabbing. We hope to give you the strength to escape past these scenarios and know you are too valuable for them.
- You will never need to worry where to find hugs, kisses, understanding, dinner, somewhere to sleep, someone to tell you “I love you.” You will always be loved. You will always be cared about. Mom and dad will always love you, your siblings will always love you. You can come to us joyfully, sadly, angrily. You can come to us fat, skinny, short, tall, with braces, with acne, with sweat pants, with designer clothes. We will never see you less, we will always think you are unconditionally beautiful.
Because beautiful doesn’t mean you don’t make mistakes, or you aren’t perfect.
Beautiful doesn’t mean that you won’t go through difficult things, or people won’t try to make you feel that you aren’t.
Beautiful comes from your smile, your eyes, your heart and soul.
Beautiful shines brightly and cannot ever be extinguished.