To my daughter, my baby girl, my eldest lady, my first born,
There’s so much that I want you to know and even though I have told you already, you may not have always listened.
I want you to know, firstly and foremost, that you are my hero.
Yes, you heard me right, I think you’re a hero. Not caped crusader kind, but the kind that picks themself up and carries on despite having a tough time. Watching you cope and still manage to smile when times have been tough warms my heart, but also brings a tear to my eye.
I don’t know why you became the bullies’ target, but you did. Whether it was your pretty face or long blonde hair that made them jealous, or how clever you are, I don’t think we’ll ever know, but you managed to beat them in the end. It took us a long time of fighting the school and the bullies to make the situation better.
There were days when I watched you breaking down, that I genuinely thought my heart was going to break in two, but I held it in and stroked your hair and reassured you it would all be ok, despite not knowing if it would.
My mothering instinct wanted me to protect you, like a lioness protecting her cub. I wanted to hurt the people that hurt you; I wanted them to suffer like you did. I knew that wasn’t the way to show you how to cope with life’s situations so I dealt with it in the proper way, through the correct channels, even though it meant everyday putting you in situations where you felt anxious and afraid. I’m sorry.
I’m so very proud of you.
We focussed on your transition to secondary school and called it ‘your fresh start’ and you were so happy, but it turned out that one of the girls carried on the bullying from primary school and you didn’t make friends. You cried going in and my heart broke that you didn’t get your ‘fresh start’ that you were looking forward to and another battle ensued.
This time we didn’t stand for it my beautiful girl and you stood up tall, confronted the situation and was rewarded with a second chance at another school. Although not everyone agreed with our decision, we did what felt right for you and you have soared.
Watching you now go to school smiling and happy gives me a fuzzy feeling inside, seeing you find a place in a peer group and making friends like you wanted, allowing you to come out of your shell and give your friendship and loyalty to people and receive it back is great. But, I still have that need to wrap you up and protect you.
You’re beautiful. Not just on the outside, but on the inside too.
I want you to look in that mirror and know that you are worth every compliment you’re been given and believe them.
I want you to realise that despite any of your peers making you feel bad about yourself or anxious, it’s them with the problem, not you. They are likely to have their own troubles and anxieties and are projecting them onto you.
I know that you are growing before my eyes; you’re 12, but I’m not ready to let you go yet.
For example, the cinema and shopping trips with your friends – I still want to drop you off, I want to know that you’re safe. I know you view it as mistrust, but it’s not you that I lack trust in, it’s the dangers that are out there. Your naivety for the world is beautiful to view through your eyes for a change, but my eyes as a parent are tainted with life.
You tell me that my restricting you from hanging out at the local park with your new friends makes you feel excluded, but it’s to keep you safe from harm. If those people are your friends, then they will understand and I hope, in time, you realise that too.
There will be further battles ahead for us as we both try to navigate our way through the teenage years ahead, so I’ll apologise now and tell you that I will make mistakes too and maybe get it wrong at times. Please ALWAYS know that I will ALWAYS love you, ALWAYS be proud of you and you will ALWAYS be my daughter, my baby girl, my eldest lady, my first born.
Love Mum xxx
This blog is part of our ‘A Letter To’ series.
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