Today's guest post comes to you from the wonderful Melissa Atkins Wardy. Melissa and I became friends because of our fierce belief that you ladies are awesome and deserve so much more than the world gives you credit for sometimes! Melissa's post today is written as a letter to her daughter, Amelia, who is 5 years old. I hope you enjoy it!
I know it was difficult this weekend to watch the little baby bird we found in the backyard. I could tell you realized he was too young to be out of his nest, and that you knew what that meant for the baby bird’s survival. All of it was made worse by his mom and dad flying near him and answering his tiny cries with cries of their own. I know how badly you wanted to save him, and we did what we could to help him stay safe.
I lost sleep that night, knowing it was dark and raining and chilly, the little baby laying in the grass without his mama. It is hard to know a living creature’s baby is hurting. Maybe you will understand this fully when you become a mama. Only then will you come to know how fiercely mamas love their babies.
The world can sometimes be a crazy place for girls to grow. There are people and corporations and products out there that don’t have your best interest at heart. That is why I try to keep your childhood as a safe place for you to learn and grow at just the right pace. I think it is so important for you to just be a little kid. I’m not in any rush to have you grow up. I’m not comfortable with you acting like a teenager, or worrying about teenage things like if you are thin or pretty or sexy. There are some girls your age, or a little bit older, who grew up too soon. Kind of like our baby bird, they fell out of the nest too early, and they didn’t know what to do with what was happening to them. They need their mamas.
As your mama, I will make you a promise, my little Baby Chick. I promise to give you all the knowledge and experiences and room you need to grow. I want to keep you safe, but I don’t want to shelter you. I want you to see how amazing this big world is, and how amazing you can be in it. The world really needs amazing girls. And you, my little Baby Chick, are incredible.
So I’ll keep my promise, and I know there will continue to be times that you don’t like when I tell you ‘No’. But I am your mama, and that is my job. Trust me, Darling, there will come a day (many years from now) when you are ready to leave our nest, and I’ll give you a gentle push out into the world. I’ll expect you to spread your wings and fly. It will be bittersweet, but I know I will have prepared you to soar.
I love you,
Melissa Atkins Wardy is the owner of Pigtail Pals – Redefine Girly, a company offering apparel and gifts for girls (and even a line for little brothers!). www.pigtailpals.com. She advocates and writes about issues involving the sexualization of girlhood. You can read her blog at: http://blog.pigtailpals.com or find her on Facebook (Pigtail Pals – Redefine Girly) and Twitter at @PigtailPals. It is time we change the way we think about our girls.