We spent last weekend cleaning out the craft room.
It was an almost overwhelming task. The pipe cleaners had invited a few of their friends over and the bottles of glitter had decided to throw a party and the tiny pieces of paper had pulled up tiny houses and started a craft fair.
And of course…
…there was the art.
Pages and pages of rainbows and smiling faces and hearts and quotes and suns that danced across the sky.
I saved every one.
I couldn’t help it.
Somehow I blinked and the twins are going to high school next year and I’m clinging to every piece of single glittered starry sky art and telling it to wait. But time doesn’t slow down even for moms with teary eyes and handfuls of crayons.
So instead, I wrote a roadmap for the next four years.
Here are seven lessons I want to teach my daughters for the road ahead.
Dear daughters of mine,
I am so incredibly blessed to be your mother.
It seems like yesterday you arrived into the world full of tiny ballerina toes and wisps of blonde hair and wistful blue eyes that spoke directly to my heart.
Now you are full of giggles and big opinions and personality and ranch salad dressing and blue eyes that roll.
And you don’t know this, but as you run through this summer with your bare feet dancing across the green grass and playing games of capture the flag while the fireflies watch and eating marshmallows with chocolate under the stars…
…the next chapters of your life are about to unfold.
Now is the time to pass on some very important information.
1. You are beautiful
Inside and out.
I know you think I’m supposed to say that because I’m your mother.
At this minute I can feel your eyes roll.
But one day the world will tell you that you aren’t. They will tell you that you need to be skinnier or blonder or taller or more of this or less of that. They will try to convince you that you need to change.
They have no idea what they are talking about. They don’t know.
But I do.
And I know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and you are perfect and incredible and beautiful….
….just like you are.
2. Be kind
You have been given many gifts my sweet twinkly-eyed girls.
Use them wisely.
Never, ever make fun of someone else.
In your life you will encounter many people who won’t return that kindness.
Be kind anyway.
Until you have walked a mile in their shoes, you never know that battle that someone else is fighting.
3. Don’t take yourself too seriously
Life is full of rules and things you should do and things you shouldn’t do.
I know you think you know this already. You go to school. You raise your hand. You try not to talk in class. You even eat your carrots at lunch.
I get it.
But there are so many more responsibilities and rules and regulations heading your way.
Don’t get overwhelmed. You can do this.
Just remember to smile and dance in the aisles of the grocery store and don’t forget how to hula hoop and eat dessert first….
….and always call your sister if you need a giggle.
4. Know how to rock a bad hair day
One high school day you are going to stay up too late studying or talking on the phone or discussing what you’re wearing tomorrow and you’ll wake up late and run to school and halfway through first period you’ll discover your hair isn’t cooperating.
None of that matters.
Just grab a sparkly bobby pin, put a smile on your face, remember your hair doesn’t ever define who you are and that….
…true beauty comes from within.
5. Don’t let others define who you are
Along your journey you will meet others out there waiting to tell you how to be.
What to wear.
How to dress.
How to decorate your dorm room.
Listen to me. You know yourself better than they do. If you want to wear sparkly shoes and purple toenail polish and a pair of Eiffel Tower earrings. Wear it. If you want to decorate your room with clouds and stars and rainbows that never end. Decorate it.
Lead and the world will follow.
6. You can accomplish anything
Don’t be afraid of failure.
Don’t be afraid to try.
Nothing in this world is accomplished by someone sitting on the sidelines.
Life is about the doing.
The hardest part will be deciding what you want to do. There are so many choices and so many turns and bends and twists in the road. Deciding what you want to accomplish can be challenging.
Talk to me. I have a few suggestions.
7. Marry a man who sings to you
One day you will find someone special.
One day you will meet someone special who sees the beauty and wonder and joy in you just the way you are. Someone who won’t try and change you. Someone who will treasure you and love you for exactly who you are….
….and sings you his heart.