My Parenting Vow, to the sweet little girl who made me a mom:
“When I’m a mom, I’ll never insert hilarious phrase here.” The truth is, from the start of playing baby dolls, to the observations of overly protective or absentee parents, we all say what we will always or will never do as parents. The reality is, never say never until holding that sweet little baby in your arms. From that moment on, everything changes.
So, to my baby girl and (and if I'm blessed enough to have future babies) Here is what I vow to you:
I promise to love you, unconditionally. I promise to challenge you, to pick you up when you’re down, and to make you laugh so hard your belly will hurt. I promise to support your dreams, and to ensure you reach your potential.
When you’re feeling down, I will teach you to count the blessings in your life. I will teach you that sadness is not a sign of weakness. I will teach you to share your feelings. Let people know how much they mean to you, and demand respect with your presence. People will treat you how you let them.
I will embrace YOU. I will love who you love (if they are worthy, of course). Black, white, purple, blue, boy, girl. I will raise you to follow your heart, and I will be right there to follow it with you.
I will give you space, but probably not enough. I’m sure I will be faulty in knowing when to let you fight your own battles or when to let you reflect on mistakes rather than be reprimanded for them. Through it all, you will make mistakes, and so will I. If I have certainty in anything at all, it is that mistakes will be made. Remember, this is my first time parenting, but I promise that everything I do, I will do with love.
I will teach you that beauty comes from within. Crop tops and short shorts aren’t sexy, intelligence is. I will teach you to be independent, to fight for equality, for everyone. I will teach you that there is no such thing as “weird,” just different. I will teach you to embrace differences, for how boring would our lives be without them?
I will teach you to give the janitors in your school the same respect you will give the superintendent.
I will teach you eye contact, eye contact, eye contact. It is a sign of confidence. It shows you will be a force to be reckoned with, which you are.
Never be too proud to apologize.
I will teach you to be more fearful of disappointing me than any punishment. You will make mistakes, and you will learn from them. You will learn that God’s plan may be much different than yours, but His is the right one.
Lead by example. Work hard in all that you do. Actions > words. In every aspect of your life, showing people how great you are is so much more impactful than telling them.
I can’t imagine what cell phones and technology will become, but don’t forget to play. Grow your imagination, even as a grown up. Imaginative kids turn into successful, dream-chasing adults.
There is no quantity of money, cars, or houses that will be more valuable than your education. Knowledge is power.
Your best will always be good enough.
You can change the world.
Love you forever,