with the messy ponytail, sparkling eyes and a crooked grin;
just today I saw
in the curve of your neck and the way you turned when I called your name
the ghost of the woman you will be.
Startled at your smile, your laugh, both somehow a bit older today,
And the long brown legs suddenly free of bruises and band-aids,
all that is before you
and pondered the age old question of
how much of that woman is carved into your very biology
and how much circumstance might mold you.
Good mothers say
they only wish you happiness
they wish you only happiness
but it is just that: a wish
without some advice on how to grant it to yourself.
I find it is not so much a matter of what to do or be or say or become
as a matter of what not to.
Don’t hurry to grow up, when all around you are straining toward some imagined golden adulthood. Gold in the fire takes time, and it gets burned.
Don’t be a woman who thrives on drama, creating her own at any chance,
only to complain about the chaos and drama
making a mess in her life.
Don’t be a woman who makes bad choices
blames circumstance for the hand dealt her.
Your choices are yours: if you make a few bad ones,
here and there,
learn and move on.
Laugh when you are able.
Follow that feeling in your heart and in your stomach
that says do this, or don’t do that. It is your compass;
your true North.
But take with a grain of salt
all other feelings;
listen politely, as you would to an elderly stranger,
(not entirely sure if he is senile,) and look for the logic within them.
Feelings can be your greatest teacher, or a treacherous traitor
depending on how much power you give them.
Don’t be a woman who is fueled by things:
things will disappoint you every time.
Find what inspires you, and reach for it
be it a million miles away, or in your hip pocket;
find it, and hold it tight.
Should you marry I hope you marry
a man who is not so rich that he cares about the wrong things
not so poor that he is accustomed to it.
Love Big. Laugh hard. Eat well. And believe in your dreams.
with your sleeves rolled up.
And if God grants me a long life, know this:
I am here I am here I am here
and I love you