You shot like a bullet out of the watery comfort of my womb into our dining room not 4 weeks ago. It had been my idea the whole pregnancy long that you would come early, by at least 3 weeks. But you held fast to your due date, and obliged my desire to have you out beforehand with only 18 minutes to spare. I had spent the three weeks prior bemoaning my misfortune and discomfort, attempting every Old Wives Tale imaginable to coax you out of your nest.
But even before you were born, you made the rules. No amount of coaxing and pleading by me would convince you to have any other birthday than the one you picked. You were master of all our fates that night. Mine, your father’s, your brother. All the women who surrounded me as you screamed into the world, you owned all of us. We bent and swayed to your rhythm, until earthside you arrived.
And so you shall remain master of your world, as long as you learn where your worth lives.
I am already prickly when people call you “such a pretty little girl.” Your worth does not lie in Pretty. (Although, as a smart Southern girl, your Mama will teach you the value of a freshly made-up face and a pair of pumps when you need to get something done.) No my dear, your worth lies in all those other parts of you that no one can see. Your bravery, tenacity, quick wit, and insight. Your creative imagination, your subtlety. Your worth will be built atop a foundation of honesty and patience. It will gain weight with all the dreams you can stuff into it. Your value lies in your strong will, your ability to accept criticism, and your willingness to right your wrongs.
Your value is exactly what you say it is. All the power you held the night you were born, it stays with you. Grab onto it, my brave girl.
All my love,