Dear Maddie

[Photo by Lady J Memories]

Dear Maddie, 

Since the day you were born, I knew you were destined for an amazing life. 

I was secretly hoping you could be everything I wasn't, you could do everything I was afraid to do, and you would stand strong for yourself, as I had not. . .

Sweet girl, I was still so young when you entered the world amidst a tumultuous house. 
And as things changed around us, I hoped and prayed it wouldn't affect you so much. 

For years, I've gone over and over in my head on how to raise you confident, when I still struggle with confidence myself. 

Maddie, you are exactly as you are supposed to be. 
From your head to your toes, every piece of you is magical. 

Some people might tell you you're not, they're wrong. 
Some people might tell you to change, don't.
Some people might tear you down, stand tall. 

Love yourself.
Every bit of yourself. 

Love your eyes, love your laugh, love your little toes. 

When I was young, I was always told I was many things I "shouldn't" be. 

Too tall for a girl, too strong for a girl, too tough for a girl. 
I was called names, I was picked on. 

From kindergarten, where I was taller than all the boys. 
Up to high school, where I was still taller than the boys, and I was the new kid in town and people made up hurtful nicknames.

I let them hurt me, Maddie. I gave them the power. 

And it shaped the way I looked at myself for many, many years. 
It shaped the decisions I made.
It shaped the way I let other people treat me. 

I went through a lot of pain to get to where I am today, sweet girl, and I never want you to be where I was. I don't want you to doubt yourself. 

You are powerful. 
You are smart. 
You are beautiful. 
You are every bit the Maddison I love. 

I joke with my friends that you are going to rule the world, 
but here's the truth:
I know you will. 

You will change lives, baby. 

Right now, you are in the living room showing Romy how to color. Teaching him everything you know. You are so kind, giving, and intelligent. 

You are confident in you, and you know no different than that. 

Never let anyone take that away from you.
There are struggles in your life, and your stubbornness gets you in more trouble than anything else, but I have to admit that part of me admires the way you stick to your guns (the other part of me just wishes you would eat your broccoli).

As you grow, you will encounter the mean girls and as you will be exposed to societal standards, 
never forget who you are. 

The girl who fights with me every morning because you know exactly how you want your hair and no one can tell you otherwise, the girl who sits with your sweet friend at the peanut-free table when no one else is there, the girl who chooses who she is going to be. 

Be you, baby girl. Always be you. 

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