Shop the fall collection ➔

Dear daughter,

I hope your first real love writes you letters. I’m talking real, handwritten, spills-his-guts letters.

I hope you keep them. I hope your first real love thinks he will love you forever, I hope you believe the same.

I hope you love each other with reckless abandon. I hope when you see him your heart nearly stops and you feel like you’re exactly where you belong.

I hope it’s unfiltered and sometimes messy because you both just feel too much.

I hope your first real love is constructed of the things I will likely scoff at and your father will likely try to get in the way of.

RELATED: My First Love is the Last One I’ll Ever Need

I hope when that time comes, I can remember to give you the space you need to experience love in all its awkward, splendid wonder.

I hope your first love is made of full-hearted confessions, late-night phone calls, and full belly laughs. I hope you love him without holding back.

I hope you feel as though you could never spend a moment away from him.

My daughter, I hope you love him wildly, and he looks at you as though you hung the moon yourself because that love is once in a lifetime.

The truth is that he likely won’t stay your person forever though.

This same boy who will illuminate your spirit is likely to be the cause of your first, real broken heart. This will hurt in ways you may not have known you could hurt.

RELATED: Can I Let You in On a Secret? This is Real Love.

When this time comes, you likely won’t believe I could possibly understand.

I will. My first love had me crying on my bedroom floor listening to Alanis Morissette feeling like I would never function again.

Your grandma graciously gave me the “there’s other fish in the sea” bit. I promise you, honey, I won’t. The truth is there are other fish. You, darling, will love again and be loved again, but I would be lying if I promised it would be the same.

Your final love may be better in many ways, but it will not be exactly the same.

When you are young, love is magical uncharted territory, you love different. As you grow up you learn to love with logic and reasonthat love is mature love.

You will feel butterflies and wonder, but it is courageous, not brave. All of this is important to know. Bravery is doing something without any fear; courage is knowing the fear and doing it anyway.

RELATED: Dear Teens, You’ll Make Mistakes—But What Will Your Recovery Be?

There may come a time in life when you need to remember what it felt like to be brave and free, and there are few things in life as freeing as utterly and completely allowing yourself to be swallowed up by love for the first time, brave and unafraid.

So love wildly.

Who knows? Maybe your first real love will be your last real love. Either way, love like it will be and keep the letters.

Brittney Miller

Brittney Miller is a hobby writer from North Carolina. She is the mother of four beautiful children ranging from toddlers to tweens. She speaks candidly about life and motherhood all while enjoying life’s magnificent journey.

What a Gift It Is To Watch My Babies Grow Up

In: Motherhood, Teen
Mother in pool with teens in background

A few weeks ago I ran away and I brought my family with me. It’s become my favorite thing to do for my birthday week. Nestled neatly between the end of the school year and the beginning of the longest stretch of summer, for years that week has provided my family and I with the perfect freedom to get away. There are four simple rules for this escape from our normal lives and they are always the same. Our location must: 1. Be located in a climate with palm trees. 2. Require an airplane to get there. 3. Have a...

Keep Reading

It’s Okay to Say No to the Promposal

In: Kids, Teen
Boy holding pink sign saying "Prom with me?"

Promposals are cute.  But, even for the sweetest questions, it’s okay if the answer is not yes. I have more boys than girls at my house so the whole meet the boy asking your girl out with a gun posts don’t sit well with me. Boys and girls have an equally hard time negotiating friendships and relationships in high school, and I care equally for both. A young man spent some time, told his friends, made a cute sign, and planned to ask my daughter to a dance. A friend of my daughters mentioned he might ask (and even made...

Keep Reading

When You’re a Mom of Teens, You Never Pass up a Chance to Spend Time with Them

In: Motherhood, Teen
Football field

When your kids are little, nothing rings more true than the saying that the days are long but the years are short. You know the time is fleeting even as you struggle through some days that feel never-ending. As your kids begin to grow though, their (and your) days become filled with school, homework, sports, clubs, and friends, and suddenly the days start to fly by as well. RELATED: No One Told Me I’d Feel This Way When They Were Teenagers The irony of time in parenting is that the moment you become most acutely aware of how fleeting it...

Keep Reading

You’re Halfway Done With High School and I’m Trying Not To Blink

In: Motherhood, Teen
High school student looking back

It sounds trite to say it, but I am not sure how we got here.   It seems so short and yet so long ago that you started kindergarten, that first step into the outside world. I remember what a huge milestone it seemed at the time and how I obsessed over every detail, from your first backpack to your school shoes. You loved everything about school, and so I loved it too. Those first couple of school years were so sweet and simple, and their passing didn’t bother me. The middle years—3rd, 4th, and 5th grades—were so fun.  We were...

Keep Reading

I’m a Mom of a Teenager Now and Disney’s Inside Out 2 May Do Me In

In: News, Teen
Inside Out movie

I’m not much of a crier at movies. but Disney is responsible for three legitimate bouts of tears in recent years:  The montage of Carl and Ellie’s life in Up.  The scene in Toy Story 3 where Andy gives his toys to Bonnie and drives away.  Bing Bong’s voice trailing off as he disappears, saying “Take her to the moon for me” in Inside Out. It looks like that third one may get an encore soon—Disney just confirmed Inside Out 2 is officially a go.  The first Inside Out took us inside Riley’s 11-year-old mind, into that tween transition between...

Keep Reading

Dear Teenage Self: Hold On, Better Days Are Coming

In: Teen
Teen black and white profile

Trigger warning: abuse and self-harm mentioned. Dear sweet girl,  I know you don’t want to be seen but I see you. I know you use alcohol, cigarettes, cutting, and weed to numb your pain. I know you think your relationships with men are consensual and you feel you need them because you are missing something. I know you’re being abused by a family member and you feel stuck because no one would take your side or believe you. I know you question how God could allow things to happen and convince yourself it’s your fault and you deserve it and...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Here’s How You Avoid Middle School Drama

In: Teen, Tween
Middle school girls in hallway

“Mom, people keep telling me to be ready for the drama in middle school, and I don’t like it.” My 12-year-old daughter said this to me before she started middle school, and it made me smile. Her natural instinct is to run from drama. She is a lot like me in that she wants people to be happy and for there to be zero awkwardness surrounding her. After quickly pondering her statement, I reminded her that she chooses to join the drama or stay out of it, just as she always has. She gets to choose who her friends are....

Keep Reading

Cereal Is a Food Group, and Other Things I’ve Learned While Parenting Teens

In: Motherhood, Teen
two teen girls sitting together

In honor of a new school year, here are things I’ve learned while parenting teens: Do not wear dry cleaning to sporting events. Teen girls get a bad rap. They are ravenous. Prepare your pantry accordingly. RELATED: I Talk to Your Teens All Day: Here’s What You Can Do Better Pregame rituals include music that is trash. Learn to enjoy it. Teens need mental health days, too. Let them sleep. Let them eat. Let them play. Grades are indicators—a means to an end and not an end unto themselves. Do. Not. Die. on this hill, friends. Be a safe space...

Keep Reading

When There Are No More Little Girls’ Clothes

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Girl in dress by window

It hit me with a poignancy I didn’t expect, as a milestone I never prepared myself for. At 13 years old, my second daughter had officially outgrown even the largest sizes of children’s clothing, and my years of shopping in the little girls’ section were over. For nearly 16 years, from the time my older daughter was born, I had been shopping for little girls’ clothes. She had barely drawn her first breath when my older sister and mother rushed down to Gymboree at the mall, thrilled with the possibilities of adorable outfits for this tiny princess. Over the next...

Keep Reading

That’s My Baby behind the Wheel—Please Be Kind

In: Motherhood, Teen
Teen driver smiling

My 14-year-old daughter studied the rules of the road religiously this summer, completed dozens of practice tests online, and passed the written exam at the DMV a few weeks ago. But she’s a brand new driver and she’s still learning—so please be patient. You see, just yesterday she was 7 pounds, 12 ounces of helpless squish, swaddled safely in my arms. Then I blinked and she’s an almost-woman driving 3,500 pounds of metal, completely out of my reach. RELATED: Dear Teen Driver, Promise Me These 3 Things You’ve seen someone like her out on the road recently, I bet. Her...

Keep Reading