Dear daughter, 

As I stop and admire you cheerfully splashing around in the bathtub during our nightly bath routine tonight, I am suddenly overcome with a flood of emotions.  You are so excited by the tiny waves you’ve created, and it makes you feel such a sense of accomplishment.  

If only life could just stay this simple.  

Though a carefree toddler now, I am reminded that in the years ahead, you will face battles as we all do. Some of these battles, I will not be able to fight for you. 

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When I found out you were a little girl, I was so excited. A built-in best friend just for me! On the other hand, I was faced with an uneasy feeling that overtook the pit of my stomach as I already envisioned some of the growing pains that come along in life . . . especially as a little girl.

I think about my own heartbreaks and find myself trying to find ways to shield you from these as much as possible.  

As your mother, I already want to take away every ounce of pain–physically and emotionally–that you will ever experience in life. Because I know this isn’t possible, I want you to always remember the following:

When others say mean things about you, it says everything about them and nothing about you. You know your true worth, and it doesn’t need to be validated by others.

You never know what someone may be going through. Saying something mean about you may be the only way they know how to get the attention off themselves. Pray for them, remember your worth, and move along.

Keep Jesus at the center of your life. When you’re having a bad day, talk to Him. He loves to hear from us and is the number one secret-keeper. 

It’s OK not to be everyone’s cup of tea. God made us all unique for a reason.  Sometimes we mesh better with some more than others. It absolutely doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you. You’ll find your people.

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Forgive others, but remember it’s OK to sometimes forgive from afar and no longer cross paths with that person anymore. If you feel the relationship is doing you more harm than good, it may be best to move on.  

If you see someone who is in need of a friend, be a friend to them. You never know how much your kind gestures may impact them.

If you don’t get invited to that sleepover, remember, they may just not be your people . . . and that’s OK.

Most importantly, nobody on this earth will ever love you more than your daddy and me. Though we won’t be able to physically be around all of the time, I want you to always remember you are worthy of all great things.

Unfortunately, my daughter, life will throw many waves your way. While it may sometimes feel as if we’re only able to stay afloat, what’s most important is that you never let the waves topple over you. With guidance from God and the unconditional love your daddy and I promise to always provide, my hope is that you will learn to ride the waves out and remember that better days are ahead. 

Kelly Cole

I am the mother to a sweet little girl and wife to an awesome husband. Motherhood has changed me in so many ways and I find that writing helps me articulate this overwhelming, yet rewarding journey.