A Letter To My Teenage Daughter...
I am a woman. At least I was last time I checked. Which means at some point in my life I was a teenage girl. Aaah those years, I remember them well. I wasn't a bad teenager, although I had my moments and there were times when I put my Mum and Dad through moments of extreme stress I am sure. Just the usual teenage things that parents worry about- driving out late at night with friends in my car, drinking too much, smoking, boys...and worse. I respected my parents and love them dearly but as all teenagers do, I liked to push the rules as much as I could.
I came across this photo the other day. Here I am at seventeen at a party smoking. A fact I don't tell people much but from about sixteen to twenty three I smoked about 15-20 cigarettes a day, until I decided enough was enough and I gave up cold turkey. But thats besides the point. It got me thinking about my younger years and how my Mum must have worried about me so much at times. With that in mind I thought I would write a letter to Mads to read when she is a teenager.
See that photo of Mummy above? I was a teenager once. I know what you are going through believe me.
You are my precious girl. From the second you entered the world I loved you with every single bone in my body- a love so strong it sometimes takes my breath away. I would do everything I can to protect you, make you happy and help you achieve your dreams.
I worry about you so much. Its a Mummy's perogative. I worried about you when you were tiny, and I will worry about you throughout your life. Your first day at school, the first time you are allowed out to play on your own, when you get poorly- these are all milestones we will have to face together.
Some day you are going to get your heart broken. I hope you won't but it is most likely going to happen. Boys are mean sometimes and I can remember sobbing in Grandma's arms saying that I would never feel that way again.
One day you will meet someone like your Daddy who will love you, protect you, help you be a better person and change your whole life in ways you never thought possible. You may kiss a lot of frogs but your Prince will be out there- you may meet him when you least expect it. When it does, you will know. How? I don't know but you will and it will be the best thing ever..
You have to let yourself love Mads- because when you do, it is the most wonderful feeling in the whole wide world. Whoever you choose to love, I will love and accept. Anything to make you happy. I will welcome them in to be part of our family, just like Daddy has entered ours. Together you will make your own family.
So if a boy treats you badly, listen to some soppy love songs, have a cry, put on a brave face and come to me. I will give you a big cuddle and we can go and do something fun and try and take your mind off it. Shopping maybe? That always brought a smile to Mummy's face when she was young.
You may feel fat and ugly sometimes- we all do. But you aren't, you are beautiful. Don't try and change who you are to fit in- be yourself. Being different is good. Being yourself is even better.
There may be friends in your life who are mean, or girls who pick on you. Don't let them. Stand up for yourself and realise that soon they will find a new target. These kind of girls aren't worth your tears and in years to come you won't even remember their names, they will be a passing blur. They may make you a nicer person as a result.
If you see people being mean to others, make sure you stand up for them. It is not nice to treat people badly. And never be a bully yourself- just think about how it would make you feel. Let your beautiful personality shine through.
Please be careful going out in the car with friends. We all know someone who has lost a loved one through driving carelessly. Drive safe and don't ever show off if you are driving yourself. If a friend is driving too quick, tell them to slow down. You never know they might thank you for it.
Be good at school. I know its not 'cool' to be clever but some day you will realise that hard work pays off. I will do everything I can to support your dreams. Dream big baby girl because if you work hard you can achieve anything. Dreams don't work unless you do.
Don't smoke. Mummy did but its not big or clever. One day when you can run around with ease you will thank me for it. And it gives you wrinkles. Oh and make sure you wear lots of sun cream, and don't use sun beds.
You will want to go out and have a good time and drink yourself silly. Mummy did this. A lot. But just be careful- you are at your most vunerable when you have had a few drinks. Remember to not take risks. And always look out for your friends and stick together.
Someday you may have babies of your own. I know that if they are loved even a small proportion of how much we love you, they will be the luckiest children in the world.
Being a teenager can be tough and sometimes you will want to shut me out. But know that I went through it too. I hope that we are close enough that you can come to me for anything. I will always support you.
Teenage Mads is a scary thought, but right now you are my little squishy munchkin and we have lots more fun times ahead before we reach them. Maybe when you read this you will be a teenager but guess what, you will always be my baby.
Know matter what life throws at you Mads, and whatever you face, know that I will be there and that your Mummy wanted you more than anything. Together we can get through it all.
I love you. But as always you already knew that.