Thursday, January 19, 2017

Dear Little Girl | A Letter to My Nieces

Dear Little Girl | A Letter to My Nieces - A Simpler Grace

This letter is dedicated to one of my two nieces, who turns seven years old today.

Dear Little Girl,

Your mom and I grew up sharing the same closet and bathroom when we were little. I can remember braiding her hair and painting her nails and playing together with our dolls and our easy-bake oven. I remember choreographing dance routines to the soundtrack of Dirty Dancing and making everyone in our family turn in their tickets made of construction paper and crayon so they could watch our performance. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and feeling her curled up in bed next to me after she'd had a bad dream. I remember those early days of our childhood. They were magical.

I remember her stealing my makeup and clothes as we approached the teenage years. I remember our fights about who got to spend more time in front of the bathroom mirror or who got to answer the phone - back then, we only had one and it was hardwired into the kitchen wall - but I remember that there were so many more good times. Your mom was my first real best friend.

As we grew older, we grew apart, more than I'd like to admit. We took different paths and went on to lead very different lives. There are some things I learned along the way and I want to share them with you because, at this point, it's unlikely that I'll have a daughter of my own with whom I can impart this wisdom.

As you grow older, you'll learn a lot about expectations. You will soon realize that there will be a lot of standards that have been predetermined for you. You will be expected to look, dress, talk, think and act a certain way. You'll have unhealthy influences that will come at you from all angles - from the cover of magazines, from the movies and tv shows, from the trending list on Twitter. I will tell you now to throw these debased expectations out the window.

Don't spend too much time worrying about what you look like. You are a beautiful girl, on the inside and out, and you don't need makeup or clothes to make you any more attractive. Before you submit to the standards set by others, first make friends with the girl in the mirror. Become her friend. See her for who she is and love her for what she looks like. Your beauty is not defined by the world.

Don't let anyone tell you there's something you can't do. I know a lot of girls who have accomplished some pretty amazing things and they were all told they weren't capable because of one reason - they were a girl. Society will tell you that the female is the weaker gender and therefore, shouldn't be challenged. Just because you are a girl does not mean you aren't strong, smart, brave and capable of great things. Be confident in your ability to do anything you set your heart on.

Don't feel like you need to follow the crowd or be part of a clique. You don't need to have friends who only look like you. Instead, meet people from a place of inclusiveness. Be friendly with everyone, both girls and boys, no matter what they look like. It's ok to stand out. It is not ok to be a mean girl.

Don't put much value in what others think of you. People will come and go in your life. Some friends will be life-long and others won't stick around. It's your job to determine which friends are the ones you want to hold onto and which ones you can let go of. Sometimes people will say unkind things to you and although it might hurt in the moment, you shouldn't dwell on it too much and you should definitely not take it to heart. You don't need the approval of anyone to justify your value in this world.

Don't grow up too fast. Being an adult is hard work and you shouldn't be in such a rush to become one yet. Enjoy being a little girl. Cherish the days when you can wear a fancy party dress just because. Appreciate the summer nights full of playing freeze-tag in the back yard or the rainy days sloshing through mud puddles with your boots on. These are all things adults have forgotten how to do. Promise me that you'll never forget the magic of being a little girl.

Lots of love,

Aunt Lecy

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  1. This is so sweet, it choked me up! What a pretty cloud auntie you are! And what a blessed little neice. ❤