Dear Sweet Girl,
You are so very trusting. Trust like yours comes from a life of being able to depend on people around you, and you’ve been lucky enough in your life so far to have people who have come through in a pretty big way. You believe every single thing I say, with such fervor. If I tell you that I’m going to take us all to live in the mountains and live off the land after I read a horrific story on the news, you run to pack your bags. If I say, “I’m gonna kill that guy!” when someone crosses me, you’re out in the yard digging the hole for his body. I love you for that, my little co-conspirator.
But there’s going to come a time where you realize that I exaggerate a little (read: everything) here and there (everywhere), and that I’m full of shit a good portion of the time. I really say a lot of things for the reaction, honey. I see that you’re starting to do that too. I’m going to try to reel that back a little, because it’s gotten me in some trouble in the past. I don’t want that to happen to you.
However, I want you to know that I am NOT kidding when I tell you that I want you to succeed in doing what makes you happy. While it may seem like a bad thing that your parents don’t have money, a very fancy education (or any, in my case), pedigree, or anything remotely approaching high standards, it’s actually going to be great for you when you’re choosing your path in life. There is no bar that we’ve set, at all. Remember yesterday when I was reading about some amazing scientific breakthrough? And I said, “You should be a scientist! Look how awesome this amazing thing is!” and you said “MOM DON’T TELL ME WHAT I’M GOING TO DO WHEN I’M A GROWN UP THAT’S MY CHOICE CAN I HAVE A SNACK?” What did I do? Did I push the topic? Nope. I gave you a granola bar and wiped my hands of the situation.
I’m fine with your career choice of Princess Animal Doctor Superhero. I feel that it’s what you were born to do. I will support it. Don’t let the man keep you down, honey. Be what you want. I know you were crushed when I told you that Princess wasn’t a real job (sorry Kate), but that the charity work she does IS real, and you can choose to help people like that for your job if it makes you feel good (and you don’t want any money). I would love that.
Just please follow this advice that I wish I would have been smart enough to follow: do what makes you feel good about yourself. Go to bed each night knowing the aches in your back are from something worthy. Make your mark on the world, even in the tiniest way. This has been the hardest thing for me, and I’ll write more about it to you soon. For now, keep on doing what you’re doing. Your path is well-lighted.