Welcome, welcome, welcome! Baby girl, we are so glad you’re here. I just can’t wait to hold you and gaze at the perfection that is your sweet little face and your tiny hands. But until I get to whisper in your ear, sweetheart, sit back a moment and let your Auntie tell you just how precious you are.
You are so beautiful. You’re not too fat or too thin, your feet aren’t too big, your hair isn’t too stringy, and your nose is just the right size. You’re not too smart or too loud. Your laugh is precious. You’re interesting and you have such a loving heart.
It’s funny how I know all this. You were just born this morning, after all. But I know about you what I know about all little girls: you’re lovely. And you were made just right to be exactly you. Nobody else in the history of the world has ever seen things the way you do. Nobody’s had quite your smile or your sense of humor. The world needs you, love, not some copy of a girl you think is better. So don’t try to be that girl–be Charlotte Ann Hopkins. There is someone alive today whose life will be transformed by you being you. Don’t cheat the world of the gift that you are by hating yourself.
Because, sweet one, you are so loveable and you are so loved. Your parents have loved you since the moment they knew about you and maybe even longer. They have longed for you and ached for you. You are a miracle.
And oh, darling girl, this life is going to be so hard on you. People will hurt you and ignore you. You will fail in ways that seem earth-shattering. There will be days when you don’t know why you bother. But I have seen through to the other side of suffering and I know that there is joy. Through the darkness of heartbreak and mourning, dawn breaks again, brighter even than before.
Hope, dear one. Trust that there is meaning in life, in suffering, even. When you can’t see the purpose, step back to look at the beauty of this world. Sit in a dimly lit room with Nora Jones and a cup of peppermint tea. Keep company with Claude Monet and John Donne. Just once, climb a mountain by yourself to watch the sunset from the top. And when your heart aches beyond imagining, Rachmaninov.
Fight for the weak (I know your daddy will teach you that), rejoice in beauty, read till your eyes hurt (Mommy will be proud), and oh, baby girl, love until you have nothing left. That’s what makes life great.
As you take on this world, I wish you passion and joy, a cause to fight for, and a home that comforts your weary heart. I wish you a life filled with beauty and laughter and music and simple pleasures. I wish you a love that calls you out of yourself and makes you greater. I wish you an open heart and an open mind and the wisdom to cling to what is true. I wish you strength to endure suffering and loving arms to hold you up when your strength is gone. I wish you loyal friends who challenge you. I wish you peace but never complacency, success in many things but not all, and a life of laughter tinged with tears. I wish you a road that sometimes seems too steep, sometimes too rocky, sometimes too dull, and I wish you the determination to press on. Dear heart, I wish you a wild, mixed-up, terrifying, joyful, confusing, incredible life.
Sweet girl, I love you already! I’m counting down the days.