Touch

Dear Delilah, 

Never forget that your body is yours. There will come a day when people try to convince you otherwise. 

Your body will fail you in the moment. Keep your mind & heart strong. The internal battle is the hardest to fight. 

Butterflies do not equal love. 

Smooth talking does not equal respect. 

Guys seem to know exactly what to say to make you feel like you owe them something.  

Babygirl, you are special. Don’t be the next number to a guy who doesn’t see that.  

I pray that your father & I can be a pure honest example of love & adoration.  

We both grew up in broken homes & searched for love & acceptance in the arms of strangers.  

They all make you feel special. For a moment. 

Don’t settle for surface compliments.  Yes,  “you’re beautiful”.  Boys will get “lost in your eyes” & “love your smile”. “Your dress is pretty” and “your hair is gorgeous”.  It’s garbage. 

Wait for the man that loves that you laugh when you’re nervous, that you geek out over astronomy,  or fight for what you believe in. 

You’re brilliant. Never compromise your intelligence for anyone. 

It’s human nature to want to be wanted. You have to learn to want & love yourself first. 

“How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.”  -Rupi Kaur

I wish so badly that someone would’ve had this talk with me. It’s not enough to say “wait until marriage”. 

When you’re uncomfortable, say no.  When you’re drinking, say no. When you don’t even know his middle name,  say no.  

So often I wished I had just stood up for myself. Why was it so hard to say what I was really thinking?  Why did I feel like anyone deserved such a sacred part of me?  

I want so badly to shelter you from the pain. The false compliments, the temporary butterflies. The mornings after, tear streaked pillows. Sweetheart, it’s so not worth it.  

I know I’ll annoy you about who you’re with, where you’re going, when you’ll be home..  But I’ll be up late waiting to make sure you come home safe. I’ll bug you with questions about how things went & you’ll roll your eyes because I’m over protective.  

I was given the blessing of being your parent in this life & helping guide you through life’s tough battles. I promise I will always be waiting with a listening ear, & a full heart. 

 & your dad will be waiting with his shotgun.  

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This world will break you.

Dear Delilah, 

As I watch you sleep, I can’t help but think about the terrible world around us. Right now you’re so peaceful & safe but I know in time the world will steal your innocence.

Despite my efforts, one day someone will come along & make you feel things you’ve never felt before. You’ll think that they’re the one & then they’ll break your heart. It’s going to hurt, hurt like nothing you’ve experienced before. For a while you won’t want to get out of bed. You’ll live on Netflix & ice cream. As soon as you think your heart is healing you’ll cry yourself to sleep looking at old pictures & reliving the memories that you’ll never get back. I wish I could prepare you for that. Know that it will get better. I know it feels like the end of the world but even on the darkest nights the sun will rise. Remember during this time to love yourself. Find hobbies & spend time with friends, isolation is no good for the broken hearted. 

There will be times in your life that you feel so alone. Times when you feel like no one understands you & you don’t know where to run. I hope you know that you’re never too old to crawl in bed with me when you need to be close to someone.

In your life there will be people who discourage you. Teachers who don’t understand the way you learn, coaches who don’t see your talent, management who doesn’t want you to move forward in your chosen career. Ignore them. You can do anything you set your mind to.

This world will teach you what it means to lose someone you love. It’ll start with a pet & you won’t really understand why your dog is gone. Then one day it’ll be someone you know, someone you see everyday at school. Suddenly you realize that we’re not invincible, that realization is going to consume you, let it. Then live everyday like it’s your last & let everyone you love know how special they are to you.

One day you’ll make a mistake, not coloring out of the lines or spilling your juice but a mistake that makes it hard to look at yourself in the mirror. In the moment you’d do anything to take it back but know that holding onto the past keeps you from moving forward. Your mistakes do not define you, they aren’t who you are. Remember that.

This world will make you question your worth. When the boy you like doesn’t look your way, remember that you’re still beautiful. When you don’t make the soccer team or cheer squad, know that God has given you a special set of skills for a reason & you will discover them. Don’t base your worth on Twitter followers or how many likes your selfie got on Instagram. Love yourself. “In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.” This world will tell you that you’re too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall, too freckly, too pale, too smart, too dumb, etc. Please don’t listen. Growing up I was always “short stuff”. People thought it was funny to run into me & act like it was funny because they “couldn’t see me”. When I hit puberty my breasts started growing & I remember going shopping with my mom for a bra. A lady told me that they don’t make bras my size because it was abnormal for someone to wear a D cup when they were so small around. I felt like a freak. (Turns out the lady was just ignorant on the subject.) You are you for a reason, don’t let others diminish that.

Lastly, one day you will realize that your dad & I are not superheroes. We don’t know the answers to all of your questions. We have made mistakes & unfortunately will keep making them. We’ve been through our fair share of broken hearts, lost friends, self-doubt, & discouragement. There will come a day when we disappoint you. When you realize that we probably shouldn’t be put on that pedestal where you’ve had us placed your whole life. As much as this day will break my heart, it will allow us to bond in a new way. You will view us in a new light as you see that we are human too & we’ve been where you are. We will always be here to listen and give you advice. We are nowhere near perfect but remember that we’re doing the best that we can.