Thursday, April 21, 2011

Prayer for my daughter

I'm not religious. I guess if I'm anything, I'm agnostic with a couple sprinkles of atheism, if that's possible. So please forgive my use of prayer as a literary device, but the sentiment holds true.

Caroline woke up early this morning, around 5:30. Her canines are coming in and she's been in pain lately, so rather than wait for her to fall back asleep, I brought her into my bed. I dozed off for a little while and woke up about an hour later to find her snuggled up against my chest, fast asleep. I lay there looking at her for a little while. She's only two, so of course she looks pretty innocent all the time, but little kids have a way of looking so perfectly angelic while they sleep...

Lately, my friends have been even crazier than usual, which is saying something. All of the crazy around me (and within me) makes me worry about raising a little girl. While I won't go into detail out of respect for people's privacy, I will say this regarding my own daughter.

May she always know what she is worth, regardless of whether or not there is a man in her bed telling her so. May she never rationalize abusive behavior out of fear of being alone. May she make the hard choices that she knows in her heart are the right ones. May she love her own company enough that she cherishes her time spent by herself. May she be strong and secure enough that she does not need anyone else to make her feel whole and complete.

May she never settle.

And may I have the foresight and wisdom to raise her as a stronger woman than I will ever be.



Anonymous said...


I think this post is lovely. You are a strong woman and your daughter is lucky to have you as a role model. I hope that she ends up being as strong and self-confident as you wish her to be.

I do not pretend to know the details of your previous marriage (or your friends' situations) and I certainly do not condone staying in an unhappy or abusive relationship. I hope my children will always know that they do not need someone else to validate themselves. I also hope that my children will know that life is not a fairy tale. Sometimes you have to take some bad with the good, to make compromises, to put up with imperfections.

For my own daughter: I hope she knows what she wants in life and strives her hardest for it. I hope she knows who she is outside of a relationship and is content to stand alone on her own two feet. I hope that she is genuinely happy with herself.

But when and if my daughter is ready to commit to taking another person as her life partner, I hope she takes that commitment seriously. I hope she looks beyond the excitement of her engagement and wedding, and thinks about the everyday details of a shared life before making her decision. I hope she has the capacity to bend her wants and needs to meet her partner in the middle. Giving up part of yourself for a relationship is not always giving up ... sometimes it is growing.

Again, I would never condone anyone staying in an abusive relationship. And if a relationship is mostly unhappy, it is obviously not healthy.

But relationships often do have ups and downs. I have stayed in my relationship through our ups and downs not because I am not strong or self-confident. I've stayed because I AM those things but have decided to share my life with someone else.

Sometimes it takes a strong person walk away from a relationship. But, sometimes it takes a strong person to stay.

Julia said...

Very well put. I honestly do agree with you, almost completely. I think I mentioned before in one of my posts that I didn't take the commitment of marriage seriously enough, or that I liked the idea of marriage but not the reality, or something along those lines. It should have been as you say, and I will forever feel guilty that our daughter is the one who will pay for our lack of consideration as to what marriage should really mean.

To clarify, though, the relationships I wrote this post for were either marriages that were so blatantly unhealthy that they were better off ended, or dating relationships not intended to end in marriage. I don't mean to imply that the moment there is trouble in a marriage, a strong woman should leave; in fact, I believe that the opposite is true. I just write from what I am currently experiencing, although I tend to forget that it is impossible for most people who read this to understand without knowing details (when I fail to give details!).

Thank you for your comment. Sometimes I do need to be reeled back in, a little :)

Christian said...

This post was lovely. I wanted to comment... then I realized everything I was writing meant nothing. I have no kids... although you may put it in such a way that provokes me comment as if I knew how it feels... I guess I just can't.

What I'm trying to say is... I loved it to the point of commenting even though I knew I had nothing to add. And, as I do everytime I go to church... I'll join in the Amen of your prayer... "so be it".

Emily said...

Ahhhhh Jules this made me cry. <3