Dear Future Daughter

Dear Future Daughter,

I love you. I have loved you my entire life. I have dreamed of you since I was a kid.

I used to hold a baby doll and dress her up and pretend she was you. I'd dream of my future husband and our wedding day and our perfect little home and our perfect little family. Sometimes I'd scribble a bunch of names on a piece of paper and try to figure out the most beautiful one for you. I'd think about how I'd raise you, laugh with you, and how sometimes you'd be a pain in my butt. I'd get sad over the thought of you leaving for college, and I hadn't even met you yet. Most importantly, I'd think about how this world would treat you.

I'd pray that this world treats you well, but if not, I pray you have the strength to fight for yourself.

My dear daughter, I live in a world where not everyone is open-minded, accepting or understanding. I live in a world where for every $1 a man earns, a woman earns $0.77. I live in a world where if a woman is raped, it's probably because "she was dressed like a slut," and she was "asking for it." I live in a world where using the word "feminist" sounds like a joke. I live in a world where men are still looked at as the bread-winners and dominant figures. Where schools will make a girl change or go home because she is showing off her shoulders or that her shorts are "too short" and distracting for the boys.

I pray that this isn't the world you grow up in, but if it is, I pray that you have the courage to make a change. I hope you know that I want you to rebel, if it's for what's right. I want you to be proud of the fact that you are a woman. I want you to fight hard for equality in all aspects for all people. I want you to stand up for yourself always, even if you are standing alone. I want you to walk with your shoulders back and your chin up and to walk with power. I want you to know that you are worthy of anything your heart desires.

Do not let a man, or anyone ever tell you that you aren't capable of achieving what you desire. I know you, and I know you can do anything you want to. You see my dear, I love you. I will always have your back. And I will love you regardless of anything. I will let you express yourself as you please, dress as you want, love who you want to love, believe in what you want to believe in and be whoever you want to be. And I'll be your biggest supporter and No. 1 fan all along the way.

My future daughter, God made you perfectly, and I want you to know that He is always on your side. In His eyes, you are no different than a man. I want you to grow up knowing you aren't living "in a man's world," you are living in your world, and you have just as much potential as everyone else. I want you to be what this world needs more of: kind-hearted, open-minded, understanding, nonjudgmental and a firm believer in changing the world for the better. Diversity is synonymous for beauty, and I want you to grow up respecting people who are different than you and loving them the same.

When looking for a soulmate, I hope you know you are deserving of someone who sees the world in you. I hope you know that you deserve someone who sees you equally, and I hope that this someone is a person of faith and morality.

If you have a brother, please know that I will teach him all of the same things. I will teach him to respect women, that her clothes do not place her under a certain stereotype or label, that he should be kind and open-minded towards others, and that he should also fight for equality in all aspect for all people so that he can grow up in a world where his mother, his sister, his friends and his future wife will all live fairly and happily.

I hope many things for you my dear. I pray for many things for you. And I dream of many things for you. You are my daughter after all, and I want nothing but the absolute best for you. I have many aspirations for you, but I know that these won't just be my aspirations, they will also and most importantly be yours.

You are my heart and my soul. You are wonderful, you are beautiful, and you never have to pretend to be anything that you aren't—not for me, not for you father, not for your brother and definitely not for the world. Please never be afraid to be yourself, never be afraid to challenge others and debate, never be afraid to expand your mind, and never be afraid to be a fighter for what's right.

My dear daughter, I love you. I have loved you my entire life. I have dreamed of you since I was a kid.

Your Mother Who Loves You Unconditionally
(written in a world I hope changes by the time you read this).

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