To My Daughter, On Becoming a Woman
To my daughter
once, my dear little girl,
and now, a young woman:
One normal evening, out of the blue, you were catapulted into the next stage of your life, and I, without any qualifications and little warning, was advanced to the next level of parenting. Like you, I’m a few parts scared and a few parts excited. Here are a few things I’d like you to know, from my heart to yours.
This is a lot to handle.
Oh, how I’d like to let you stay home from school, curl up in a ball, and eat chocolate all day! I know, dear, that this is a lot to handle. Your life, your heart, your body– everything about you is growing and changing, and the process is not smooth. Some days you will feel like a goddess with clown feet, and other days like a pepperoni pizza with legs. Many days you will just want to hide from it all. I don’t blame you, but I can’t let you.
We don’t have to pretend it’s all awesome. I might give you extra chocolate, but I’m not throwing you a party. I will not refer to your “happy week” either, unless it’s with a heavy dose of sarcasm. We do not need to pretend the hard parts of womanhood are awesome. Sometimes, they’re just hard. Here, have some more chocolate.
Our bodies have their own rhythms that make us want to dance, and sometimes cry.
Just look at a chart of women’s hormones! We have spurts of amazing creativity, waves of affection for the tiniest animals, and days where we bristle like a porcupine if anyone talks to us. Our bodies have their own rhythms. This is part of our challenge, and also part of our beauty. We are wise to learn to listen to our bodies and, as much as we can, embrace its rhythm.
Life goes on.
You will get used to this new rhythm. You will swim again. You will get used to carrying a purse. You’ll find you can still climb trees and play volleyball and wrestle with your brother. And sometimes, you will just want to sit, watch, and “think about life and stuff,” as you said to me the other day. That’s part of the new rhythm, and it’s good, too.
It points forward to good things.
You and I both have a hard time waiting ten whole minutes for our cookies to bake. How can someone like me explain the joy in delayed -so delayed- years and years delayed- gratification? I know I didn’t get it when I was your age. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with you that it suddenly made sense, what all this womanly biology was FOR! You don’t, you can’t understand yet, and so for some time, you will just have to endure. But trust me, darling, this annoying biology of yours is truly beautiful and wonderful. You will understand someday.
Mom is here for you.
I need you to be patient with me. I really am trying not to embarrass you, but I have to be honest — I feel like I’m flailing around here, too. There’s no rulebook for navigating this minefield, and I’m doing the best I can. I’ll probably give you too much information, and I’ll probably talk about blush-worthy things more often than you’d like, but that’s part of my strategy. I want all topics to be safe topics with me. I don’t want you to feel shame in your questions or in your struggles. God’s grace is the air we breathe as we flail, and we are safe in it.
We’re told we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Right now, you may feel more “fear” than “wonder.” But trust me on this: The God who made you will continue to tend to you, just as He always has. You are growing up to be such a lovely young lady, and I can’t wait to see how you bloom in God’s garden.
I love you, young lady.
Thank you for sharing. I am going througth my experience of childhood and teenage. I dont have so loving mother as you are but I give from you all your love as my mom. Keep going to do it because a lot of people need you in this world (I am from Lithuania).