I hope that what challenges you at four and five become your greatest strengths as young, strong woman. Women who will make decisions without haste, who view sitting still as the worst possible thing, and saying something you don’t mean (however nice it would be when you take each others’ toothbrush- what is it with taking each other’s toothbrush?), as being untrue to your word. I hope you know how very much your word means, how much it matters.
I hope that you’ll be kind. More than kindness, that your souls will be good: that you’ll recognize right from wrong and know why which is which. I hope that you’ll pick the side that’s right, and know when to stand up to the side that isn’t. I hope you’ll be honest when it matters, though knowing how to tell a lie is should you really need to, isn’t a bad thing to know how to do. I hope you’ll understand this one day.
I wish a few, two or three, or four, really good friends. Lots of friends, Saturday birthday parties in elementary school, summer college trips to Nantucket, late nights that turn into early breakfasts in the city, those too. They’re just as important. But I hope you find that small band of people who you will like and love, and who will like and love you, at eighteen and twenty-one and thirty-one. Because who you are evolves at each interval, in each decade. These people are such a gift. Life is funny, and people change both slowly and swiftly. I hope you learn this in a way that doesn’t hurt.
I hope that you stay fiercely loyal to each other. I watch you together and you take my breath away. Though sometimes it’s in the minutes before someone gets hurt, a knee to the cheekbone, the hug before the headlock, but I watch in awe nonetheless. I watch you together all of the time, at different drop offs, and pickups, at the playground, with the baby, at the beach. Your love of each other is one of the most important things to me. Blood being thick as thieves, is okay with me.
I wish you a love real, strong, fierce and most of all, fun. Should you have your hearts broken, I hope that it’s softly and early, that you find someone who you love and who loves you and who you want to be every single day, and every day after. Because relationships are work. But when it’s worth it, and I hope it always will be, it’s so, so good. I hope we are showing you this.
I hope your senses never fail you, that they surprise you at times. I hope you’ll wish this for yourselves, too. I hope you’ll appreciate the real from the fake. That you’ll be able to spot a good discount, flea market find, vintage ginger jar, have the patience to comb the clearance isles. Knowing what you like, knowing what’s real, knowing what’s of value, in everything: I wish you all of these things.
I wish you babies that sleep. And not for the reason you might think, but those are good reasons, too. I imagine you watching them the way that I watch you all, bathed and cozy and quiet. With clean(ish) house, and maybe even a glass of wine. Definitely, with a glass of wine. I imagine you watching them and studying their features, the way their baby-baby hairs still stick to their forehead, the way their breath fluffs every so often. The way they smell. I wish you this peaceful, grand, terrifying, love that is bigger than anything else in this world.
I wish you all of this.