To my darling daughter… the light of my life and my reason for living! Time has dragged so slowly since I wrote to you last month, I’ve been counting down the days til I could again. I really hope school is still being good to you 🙂 You told me a little bit about your friend Alice in your last letter, she sounds like a great friend! I’d love to hear about your other friends when you next write to me.
So… has school taught you anything yet that really impressed you? God! As usual, I wanna ask you so much, but also tell you so much…
I want you to know that you can ask or tell me anything, absolutely anything. I’m not only your birth mother, I’m your best friend too. If you can’t go to your parents about something, no matter how wrong or scary or private it feels, you can tell me. I am impossible to shock so when I say anything, I really mean anything 🙂
Anyways, my little spring chicken, guess what!! ?? Thanks to your parents ongoing kindness, we get to see each other in less than 4 months! A whole day together baby, I’m soooooo looking forward to it. What do you want to do? Where shall we go? I can’t believe your back in my life!!! I feel so blessed and I’m eternally grateful to your parents for this chance to get to know you…my darling daughter
I’ve been thinking like a wild thing about this months topic! I always start by asking myself ‘What do I want my baby girl to know and be?’ After sifting through boys, motherhood, hugs, racism and a ton of other topics, I finally landed on respect. I can only hope that I explain it in a way that makes sense
Here goes sweetness 🙂
Respect is something that takes quite a bit of practice for some people (me included)…How to be respectful on the outside
1) Listen to all people and listen properly, even if you think what they are saying is a load of rubbish
2) Look people in the eye (The added bonus to this one is that you get to stare into the beautiful globes of many many people)
3) Dont try to force your way of doing something onto anyone else
4) Never be intentionally nasty to anyone for what they think, feel or believe
5) Be humble (That’s a whole nother topic darling, which I’ll cover at some point)
OK, I think that’s enough for ‘outside’
Now I’ll try to explain how respect grows ‘inside’. It grows when you practice the following things
1) Cultivate acceptance. When you decide to accept someone just as they are, you are giving them respect and you will become a source of joy in their life
2) Remember this…we are ALL equal, always and forever, no exceptions
3) Decide to be a person who gives respect first, the good from that will come back to you in buckets and bucket loads of more good stuff. If you get lost in the complexities of respect, just be kind (to yourself and others) and you wont go far wrong
When you’re a little older you’ll realise that respect is a deep and profound gift to offer to someone.
I know as your reading this you’re gonna be desperate to know where it goes on our ‘special chart’ on the kitchen door. What number does it go in?? OK OK…I’ll tell you now. It goes in box number 1 baby. Respecting other people is the 1st step to great friendships and even greater romances. (speaking of romance, hows it going with your latest catch (David). Do you still want to marry him and have 7 babies?
You’ve done well to read this far, I wonder as I write it how you will be feeling reading it. As usual, I’ll finish with an example cos I know you like them bits best 🙂
You have a really upsetting morning. You smashed a cereal bowl and cut your hand on it. You had a row with your brother. Merlin the hamster died while you were packing your school bag. Your Mum was really stressed and shouting at you and your brother
You get to school and see Alice first, you tell her about your morning. As you begin speaking to her, she sees your upset and takes you to the benches where things are a lot quieter, when you told her about Merlin she said ‘OMG that’s so sad Petra’…as you talked, the expression on her face moved from sympathetic, to sad and then shocked. As you both stood up, Alice grabbed your hand and squeezed it tightly.
Then you go to class and see Gina, you begin to tell her about your morning. She keeps interrupting and telling her stories when you’re trying to tell yours. When you told her about Merlin she said ‘get a real problem’. Everytime someone came into the classroom she looked away from you and focused on them. You asked her to go to the medical room with you to get a new plaster for your cut, and she said ‘I can’t, me and Sarah are doing our art project’, and off she went…
So…Gina interupted you, lost eye contact, barely listened, judged you harshly for caring about Merlin, and she was more interested in who was coming into the classroom next. She refused to support you when you asked her to go to the medical room.
Alice! Alice listened to you fully. She comforted you about Merlin, when she held your hand it made you feel like she knew how crappy you felt. She walked to the benches with you so she could hear you better…
Knowing you as I do, as you imagine the scenario in your head you will be thinking about how you would FEEL! (I know this because your my daughter and you’ve inherited the tendency to feel your way through life)
Alice made you feel important, she made you feel cared for, you felt understood because of what she said about Merlin, she made you remember that she’s a great friend to you. Finally, you probably felt better just talking about it with her
Gina made you feel frustrated when she kept interrupting, as she kept looking at everyone else you felt neglected, her comment about Merlin made you doubt if your love for him was normal or just stupid, when she refused to go to the medical room with you, you felt neglected and a bit jealous of her and Sarah’s friendship…
Who would you rather tell your troubles to? Alice of course, because she treated you with respect and made you feel better. Gina was disrespectful and she made you feel even worse…
Respecting people doesn’t mean you have to fix everyone’s problems. Neither does it mean that you should always be there for everyone. It does mean learning to let people down gently if you can’t be there for them, AND don’t forget that respecting yourself is as important as respecting others
You will have problems in your life darling
Remember this…so will everyone else!
Never spend too much time thinking about yours, or you will see your problems as bigger than everyone elses.
Everyone is important. Everyone teaches us at least one thing. Everyone has their own story. Everyone has a right to their opinion. Respect is when you disagree with their opinion, yet know that their opinion is just as important as yours anyway…
My darling girl! The more time you spend talking, the more of the world you miss. The more time you spend in silence, the more you will see, feel, understand and be able to relate to the people and experiences in your life, with respect
I love you so much baby girl. More than all the planets and stars in the universe. You are my reason for getting up every morning, and you are a special little soul Petra. I’m very proud of you…
As you mature into a woman, my letters will make more sense 🙂 Don’t worry about the bits you don’t get now; one day you will and there is no rush, remember that, no rush honey…
I’m teaching you these things because I really want to share what I have learnt about life, and to tell you about the strange things that go on ‘inside’ and ‘outside’! I want to spend forever guiding you, informing you, preparing you for the roller coaster ride that is life, and loving you
Thinking of you always and miss you every day
p.s. If you wanna pick the next topic let me know, you never do choose, but I still feel the need to offer :)… I can’t wait to receive your reply sweet cheeks