You are about to be three years old in March, and I can’t believe all of the milestones you have reached. I wanted to write you this letter hoping that when you’re 18 and reading this, you will realize how much love you have brought into my life.
You have changed me forever.
You surprise me every day, and even through your temper tantrums and massive meltdowns, I still look at you and think how lucky I am to be your mom. In a world filled with so much turmoil and despair, there are certain things I hope for you as you grow up to be a young woman.
I hope you know how much you’re loved.
I hope you know that many times when I hugged you, I needed it more than you did. Right now, at almost three, you still sleep in my bed and always tell me that you want to snuggle with me. You caress my cheek, and when I tell you I love you, you tell me, “I love you too, Mom.” It makes me hold you a little tighter and tell you that I love you more. You are my first child, possibly my only one, and you have made me a better person because of your existence. You have brought me closer to my mom, your grandmother.
I understand what it means to be a mother and how much my own mother sacrificed for me. I get it now.
I hope you find a partner that loves you for you. I hope you find someone that cares for you, doesn’t ask you to change who you are, works hard every day to better themselves, and embraces you. I want you to be happy. You’re not going to find that happiness in someone else; it starts in you. Unless you are happy with yourself, you can’t be happy with someone else. I hope that you learn to be a strong, independent woman who can take care of herself, and when you’re ready, to have a strong and healthy relationship with someone else.
I hope you realize the beauty of your black skin and appreciate your culture and heritage.
I hope you don’t experience the same struggles I faced as a black woman growing up — constantly having to prove myself to others and work twice as hard as some of my colleagues. I hope you never experience discrimination based on your gender or skin color. But knowing the world we live in today, I can only hope that it doesn’t affect you or stop your path; that instead, it gives you the determination to want more for yourself.
I hope you find yourself and your passion, whatever that may be.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, even me. Use that as motivation to do whatever it is that makes you happy. I hope you find a career path that excites and invigorates you. I hope you live a life you are proud of and leave an impact not only on your own life but on the lives of all the people you encounter.
My dearest daughter…I am already so proud of you and can’t wait to see the woman you become.
Love you forever and always,