I have three daughters.
I want much for them. Peace, not a pampered path. Purpose, not existence in pretend. Experiences, not empty days when the moon rises and sets without peace, purpose, and experiences. I want to drive them places they want me to take them.
I want also for them to venture into places I am not.
The influence and support they’ll have from their parents will never cease. What of those times when she’s chosen to play on a new team, in a far-off park? When they’re she’s on a stage somewhere I am not, rehearsing and projecting?
What of the daughter checked into her modest dorm, balancing new classes and training regiments and injury management, timing visits to dining halls and movie nights and bull sessions in a cow pasture with her teammates?
Part of me will always go where my girls go.
Girl friends, from A to Z
Places my girls go will not always contain me. Such a crucial element, outside of the roots and wings such talk evokes: Friends. She’ll need good friends, there for support and common interests. She’ll need great friends, there for companionship and belonging.
She’ll need exceptional friends, along for life.
Where friends come in, my girls, I wish for you:
ACCEPTANCE | Love you for your quirks, your heart, your spirit.
BELONGING | Surround you with a crew much like you, and a little not.
COMFORT | When boys act dumb and life turns cruel, a soft landing place.
DEPTH | Challenge your mind and soul with thoughts you’ve never thought.
EMOTION | Demonstrate peaks and valleys unique to you. Show my girls a different way.
FAVOR | Advocate for my girls when I can’t be there. Stand in her corner.
GENEROSITY | I’ll bet my life my girl will give you what she has when you need. Will you?
HONESTY | Give it even when it’s not easy. Hold my girl accountable when I can’t.
INDEPENDENCE | Know when to stand on your own, and when to ask my girl for support.
JOY | Know that life will get us all down – but live joyfully nonetheless.
KIND | Hold my girl accountable, but also show her kindness. I’ll hold her accountable for the same.
LAUGH | Take on yourself, my girl, and the world with humor. She’ll laugh along with you.
MAGIC | Believe in it, would you? I do, and she’s been raised to. Let’s never let it die.
NETWORK | Never forget my girl. She’ll remember you for always, too. She’ll want to help you someday.
OBJECTIVE | Hold aside your love for my girl should the situation call for it. Do right, and do for good.
PANTS | Please, yes, never let her leave without her pants.
QUALITY | Know that I’d give anything to be where you are, walking, standing by her side.
RESPECT | Value her, and never stop valuing herself. Insist upon it, especially from her.
SANDWICH | Expect that she’ll share hers with you. And cut you the slightly bigger half.
TACOS | See the above note about sandwiches. Understand that with tacos, all bets are off.
UMBRELLA | Hold a space for her; always know your space is saved for you under hers.
VALUES | Hold tight to them, even when yours and hers don’t mesh – especially when they don’t.
WALK | Steady your spot at her side, behind her or in the lead. The steps are what count.
YELLOW CARD | Have no fear of carding and booking her. Friends check friends.
ZEN | Find that peace between you, that place the only thing that matters is you two.