Letters to Our Kids: You Are Enough
Parenthood: it’s an experience like no other. From the time the little ones arrive, we want to protect, teach, encourage, and guide them through the often rocky path of childhood. We also want them to learn from our past challenges and triumphs. That’s why we’ve launched FITL’s Letters to Our Kids.
Here, we’re sharing the stories that you, our readers, hope and plan to tell your children someday. What are the moments that have most impacted your life? And what would you like your children to learn from these experiences now, when they’re little, and down the road, as they grow up?
This letter comes from the mom of an 11-month-old.
Dear Baby Girl,
You’re enough. You always have been and you always will be. Some parents, awaiting their baby, make a list of hopes and dreams. Actually, lots of parents do this. Your dad and I would look down at my growing belly with one unspoken wish. We just wanted you to be born alive. You did it. And that’s enough.
The happiest moment of my pregnancy was when I was rolled down the hall to the operating room for my C-section. You were kicking and moving. I knew you were alive and I knew they were going to have you out within minutes. All the excitement that most women feel during their pregnancies about meeting their new babies was contained in that one moment for me. I had managed to keep you alive and inside of me for 34 weeks. That might not seem like much to some people, but for us it was nothing short of a miracle.
Six days after you were born, you had a really bad day. Your little heart stopped beating, briefly, seven times. Two of those moments occurred while I was holding you. The nurses came running in when they heard the alarm and pulled you away from me. They suctioned your nose and mouth and your little heart went back to work.
Each night when the sun went down, your dad and I headed home from the hospital. We hated leaving you, but knew we had to go home and sleep. We were bewildered, sad and scared. One day, the nurses worried that your little body had developed an infection. On the drive home, your dad told me that even if you never left the hospital, you were so much more than he ever dreamed you’d be. You were already so much more than enough.
Why do I want you to know this? Well, for two reasons. First, you will likely learn someday that the world is filled with people who will tell you or make you feel that you are not enough. I want you to ignore them, because they are wrong. And they don’t realize how wrong they are. You are enough; remember that. This doesn’t mean we don’t want you to put in a good, solid effort. But no matter the outcome, we will never leave your cheering section.
Second, I know what it’s like to never be enough for your parents. Even though I don’t doubt that my parents love me, I’m also aware that I’ll never be exactly what they wanted me to be. So don’t worry, not for one single second, about whether your parents accept you. Our dreams for you are your dreams. Live where you want to live, love who you want to love, dress and work and party and obsess in ways that feed your soul and make you happy.
And remember one thing, Baby Girl. No matter what, I will always, always love you.
To submit a letter, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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