Leaders & Daughters - To My Daughter

You Have it All Inside You Already


Dear Miss Sadie Louisiane Power,

How on earth are you an eight-year-old already? One whose favorite color has changed from pink to black suddenly. Who has a streak of color in her hair, who is taking guitar lessons, loves Goosebumps and Dear Dumb Diary books, who likes to call me “Dude” and then giggle uncontrollably.

It seems to me you were just a baby staring out at the world in a mixture of confusion and glee. I still freeze in a Target store if in the distance I hear the sound of a baby crying, spiraling me quickly back to all those years ago wandering the aisles while on maternity leave, sleep deprived and foggy, happy to have a moment to hear my own thoughts while simultaneously wrecked with worry that somewhere in the world you might need me.

I remember singing so many songs to you in the blue of night. Having quickly exhausted my repertoire of children’s songs, I began to realize all of the love songs I know mean different things to me now that you have entered the world. Bob Dylan was sung to you a lot.

When the rain is blowing in your face, and the whole world is on your case, I could offer you a warm embrace, to make you feel my love.

Of course, having had a larger-than-life mom of my own, and having lost her at a relatively young age, I feel the pressure to tell you everything that you need to know for this beautiful and complex journey called life. Our eight years together have been peppered with stories, philosophies, sacred souvenirs whispered fervently to you in hopes someday if you need to know it, you will remember.

I tell you to know that whether I am physically near you or not, you can find me in water. In the bathtub, a lake, an ocean, in the rain. Just seek water and talk to me. I will be there. Whispering to you how brave and smart and strong you are. I will be there. Listen closely for me and you will hear.

When the evening shadows and the stars appear, and there is no one there to dry your tears, I could hold you for a million years, to make you feel my love.

Some things I know you will remember since I make you repeat them. Things like, what makes you different, makes you AMAZING, and that life is really a journey we are all on to see ourselves exactly as we are, and to not only accept ourselves but to wildly and deeply love that self for all we are meant to give to the world. Just yesterday I told you GRATITUDE is one of the most special gifts in the world. It is one of the few things that when you give it to others, you also give a gift to yourself.

Perhaps you will remember how I whisper into your hair how much I love you several times each day. How we read Harry Potter books together many evenings and both get lost in the story. How you wear mommy’s boots and jewelry and act out elaborate scenes I don’t understand at all in my mirror with me watching on with a small smile.

I’m sure you will remember whenever I mess things up, get too mad over something too small. Get impatient when trying to type work emails and you are telling a detailed story, how I still try to brush your hair into a style you quickly shake out, or how I sometimes have to work late and miss the chance to kiss and cuddle you and hear all about your day before you fall asleep.

I know you haven’t made your mind up yet, but I would never do you wrong. I’ve known it from the moment that we met, no doubt in my mind where you belong.

You stun me all the time with your wit, your empathy for others – especially animals, your shock and disbelief when you hear about or witness injustice in this world. I want you to fall in love many times over and recover each time. I want you to travel to many countries (here is where Daddy and I differ – he prefers you stay close to home). I want you to keep learning many things and sharing all of these new discoveries with us. I want you to keep creating – your songs and paintings, your fashion style bold and different, keep creating this world around us to better suit your sense of justice.

And one last thing, one more whisper. You have it all inside you already. Everything you need. Your big heart, your sharp mind, your ability to not only see humor but to create joy and laughter. Your worry for others who cannot fight for themselves. And your incredible gift to know in a dream that you are dreaming. That is something not many people can do. That lets me know instantly that you are someone who swims in deep water and can always find her way back to shore.

In the meantime, I’m going to be grateful for all the nights that we are allowed time and space to cuddle before we go to sleep. Eventually you will realize this is another one of those magical gifts in this world – given to both me and to you simultaneously.

I love you dearly.

(aka Angelique Power)

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