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kumquat's style

kumquat's style
kumquat's style

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ten promises I make to my daughter

Kumquat's other nickname is Cinderella, because she's always missing a shoe or a sock. In fact, she's quite proud of her ability to get them off of her feet.

my outfit -- blouse :: american eagle (similar) // skirt :: banana republic (similar) // tights :: forever 21 // booties :: mossimo @ target (similar) // necklace :: threadsence // earrings :: bebe // watch :: jc penney's
kumquat's outfit -- vest, shirt, skirt, tights, hat :: jack & janie // shoes :: target

Dear Baby Girl, the cutiest of pies, my little Kumquat:

You are just six months and two weeks old, and already I feel as though your childhood is slipping away from me. We're just barely more than halfway through your first year of life; in a few months, you'll officially be a "toddler", a baby no more. We cannot know where the Road may take us, nor what the Universe has planned, but I can (and do) make you these promises:

1. I promise not to pass along my own insecurities.
You will never hear me utter the word "diet" or criticize someone's weight (yours, mine, or anyone else's). I will never tell you to "put on a little lipstick", nor will I ever suggest, in any way, shape or form, that you are not "good enough". You are so much more, darling - so very much more, and you are so much better than me (or your father). I hope you never look in the mirror and think your beautiful face needs make up, or see the number on the scale and tell yourself you need to lose ten/twenty/whatever pounds. You are healthy, safe and happy - THAT is what matters.

However - I reserve the right to call you my "chubby chubster" until your first birthday.

2. I promise to always listen to you.
Whether it's baby cries and pterodactyl noises or chattering about boys and clothes or your thoughts on how to solve the Middle East, I promise to always listen to you with an open mind and full attention. I want to hear what you have to say, I want to know what you're thinking, and I'm so excited to have the opportunity to experience the world through your eyes.

3. I promise to always encourage you to stand up for yourself - and that I will always stand up for you as well.
Your words, your opinion, your thoughts matter. I hope you will be confident in who you are and never feel like you have to hide yourself, especially from me. Carve out your own place in this world, and be the unique, powerful woman I know you have inside of you. And if/when it ever happens that you are unable to stand up for yourself, I promise to always be there to back you up.

4. I promise to always forgive you.
There will be times when you make mistakes. You will probably make choices I don't agree with, and you will almost definitely do something your father doesn't approve of. You may get in trouble, fall in love with the wrong boy, or do something you regret - or all of the above. I promise you that no matter what that thing is, how awful the mistake or how stubborn the disapproval, I will always be there for you. I may not agree with you, but I will always, always love you, and I will always help you fix it.

5. I promise to always be your safe haven.
Just as I will always forgive you, darling, I promise to always do my absolute best to protect you, and for those times that I can't, I will always be your solace.

6. But I also promise to never lie to you, and provide "tough love" when needed.
I love you, and I want to see you succeed in everything you do - but I also don't want to see you waste your life in ambivalence or mediocrity when you are capable of so much more (I speak from experience). If your dream is to be a singing tightrope walker, but you have a medical condition that makes it impossible for you to hold your balance and you can't carry a tune to save your life, I promise to tell you (as gently as possible while still making my point). I also promise to help you find a new dream to fulfill your life, and to do everything I can to help you realize it (see #7).

7. I promise to never tell you that you can't do something just because you're [insert perceived flaw here].
Whether you want to play football or be the president or a stay at home mom, I will never tell you that you can't do something because you're a girl, or for any other silly, shallow reason. I will never try to dissuade you from your dearest dreams, and I will do whatever I can to support you in the things you are truly passionate about.

8. I promise to protect your youth and childhood innocence for as long as motherly possible.
Too many kids are forced to grow up too fast, and far too many want to. Having been on both sides of the age divide, I can assure you that the grass is not nearly as green here on the grown up side as it looks. I promise to shield you from the meaning of words like "twerk" for as long as possible, and to help you chase unicorns and sprinkle fairy dust for as long as you'll let me.

9. I promise to always make you my #1 priority.
I feel like this one should be obvious, but I have seen so many parents to whom their children are an inconvenience or annoyance; parents who ignore their kids at all times, except when it is convenient for them, and I want to make it crystal clear that from the moment you were born, every action I have taken has been for you. Every step, every breath, every decision, has been made in consideration of your well-being and happiness, and I promise to continue with you at the absolute forefront of my thought for the remainder of my (blessed) life. Sometimes, my reasons may not seem clear; sometimes, I may make mistakes; sometimes, short term desires will have to be sacrificed in the name of long term needs. But every moment of my life is for you.

10. I promise to always, always love you, with every ounce of my being.
I will always love you, little girl. There is no force on this earth, no action you could take nor mistake you could make that would even temper that love, let alone extinguish it. You are my Soul, baby girl, external to my Self and yet the center of my Being, and I love you in a powerful, intense, gentle, beautiful way that only a mom can understand.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful and well said.
She's a lucky kid to have you as her mother.
Love you.

Anonymous said...

It took everything I had to not cry at work while reading this! It was beautiful. And I'm so excited to see this new transformation of Jenny! I love you and that squishy baby! :)

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