by Katy White
Dear Baby Girl,
I have a secret to tell you. It’s a secret that most of the world would insist I have no right to have. Advertising executives would grit their teeth, the fashion industry would tell me I must be deluded, and too many women on the street would accuse me of vanity for this opinion. Yet I hold fast to it.
I absolutely adore myself.
I think I’m brilliant. I have never met a subject I can’t work hard enough at to learn. Perhaps I'm naturally clever (at least, it’s the family curse to assume so), but the smartest thing about me is that I’m not afraid to work relentlessly for the things I care about.
I think I’m beautiful. Even with the eyelashes of an albino, and especially because of my freckles. I wear makeup, not because I dislike myself, but because I enjoy enhancing what I already find so darn cute. You and I both have stunning eyes, babe, and I love that about us. When our eyes locked for the first time, moments after you were born, you just kept staring into mine for what felt like days. I knew then that they must be even more beautiful than I thought.
I think I’m funny. It doesn’t matter if I say something I think is witty and get nothing but crickets in return. I like my sense of humor, and I positively love to laugh. In fact, I love to laugh more than I enjoy making others laugh, which is probably a good thing, just in case…
I love my hair. It’s thin and curly and sometimes wonky, with odd spots that twist the wrong way. No other hairstyle in the world suits me better…though, honestly, I’m not willing to try that many. I like my hair. It’s adorable. Why aim for someone else’s? Now hair color, on the other hand? Bring it on. I love myself with any color hair.
My body is a work of art. I can do the most incredible things. I can hold you for an entire loop around the zoo, even when you’re scrambling to break my grip and run around the gift shop. That’s real strength, cuz you are wiggly, kid. And I love my legs. You wouldn’t believe how much weight I can do on the calf-machine at the gym. It would embarrass most men to know, so I’ll keep it to myself (but it sounds a bit like shmee-hundred-and-shmorty). Beyond that, though, I have soft spots and curves that I think are positively lovely. Some people would disagree. They’d be wrong.
I’m a rad wife. Marriage is hard, baby girl. The world won’t ever let you forget that. But—and the world won’t ever let you remember this—it’s also the greatest thing in the entire universe. Our choices can make it so much harder…or easier. I consistently, maybe even daily, look for choices that will make marriage easier (your dad does this too, but that's a post for another day). Sometimes that means biting my tongue instead of saying the snarky comment that springs to my lips. Often that means letting something go, no matter how frequently that something impacts my life. Letting things go is a much better choice than saying something I may never be able to take back. A hand towel being used to wipe up a grease stain in the garage will never be worth more than your dad.
I am divine. I’m the daughter of God. My spirit is of heaven, and it is even more beautiful than I can imagine (and, as we’ve established, I’m a little bit obsessed with myself). My worth is endless, limitless, infinite, just like yours.
Oh, my brilliant, beautiful, funny, divine little girl, always remember that you are all this, and more. Never allow someone or something to convince you otherwise. You are the sun and moon and stars. And you know what? The women around you are, too. Never allow them to feel otherwise, and never make them feel otherwise. Just about the most beautiful thing a person can do in life is help someone else realize her own beauty, too.
So, be beautiful, girl. Love yourself. Just like your mom.