My sweet Belle,
I sat and watched a show the other night where a roomful of beautiful women competed with one another for the love of a man. I watched the drama as they quarreled, manipulated, flirted, cried and triumphed, but all I could think about was you. I saw your fresh face smiling at your baby brother, heard your silly giggle as you told Daddy a joke and felt the weight of your head as you laid it sleepily on my shoulder.
I know your two-year-old mind dismissed everything I told you that night so I wanted to write it down for you. Because someday, Lord willing, you will be old enough to listen and you will be wading through all the confusion that the world will toss at you about these things. Things like beauty, strength and love.
So, my precious girl, here are the things I desperately want you to know.
1. The most beautiful women in the world look ugly when they are mean. Beauty is complex. It involves your hair and skin and eyes, but all of those things are just a shell. That shell is transparent and I promise you that whatever you fill it with will be perfectly clear for the world to see.
Your eyes will always be beautiful when they look kindly at someone. You will have lovely lips whenever they smile a genuine smile. And your nose? Well, noses are tough. You either have a good one or you don't. Luckily for you, yours is adorable.
If you cultivate goodness and kindness and wisdom and strength then not only will that beauty shine out of you but you'll find that you breathe joy and beauty into the lives of those around you.
But if the most beautiful woman on earth lets herself be filled with jealousy and hatred, she will look like a troll.
2. No one, in the history of the world, has done anything out of jealousy and made it look good.
You'll be jealous a lot, sweetheart. Trust me. You'll be jealous of other girls shoes or hair or elbows. You'll be jealous of their friends, their boyfriends, their poise, their intelligence, their humor. (Maybe even of their mother, just don't tell me about it if you are.) You'll be jealous of people you've never met and people you love dearly.
When you focus on that thing that some other person has you stop caring about them at all and only care about the thing. Jealousy will make you act like a child because it is an utterly selfish feeling. Trust me, whatever you do or say when you are driven by jealousy will make you look like an idiot.
So be on your guard against it. When you see jealousy sneaking around (and you will) take a little time to be grateful for the things you do have. And if you can't come up with anything, call me. Because I can see that you have so much beauty and strength and wonder in you that it makes my heart ache and I'd be happy to tell you all about it.
3. Don't confuse SELFISHNESS with STRENGTH
Some of these women said terrible things to each other then defended themselves by tossing their pretty hair and saying, "I'm just being honest. I have to say what I feel."
Well here's a little nugget of wisdom for you, sweetie. Not everything you feel is worth saying. There will be plenty of times when you will have emotions tumbling around inside of you like a litter of puppies on crack. Some of them will be worthwhile but some will be stupid and you should do your best to send them packing.
You'll meet plenty of girls who don't agree with me. They'll claim it is strength of character to blurt out any thought that crosses their mind regardless of who will be devastated by it. But honey, a woman of strong character has the wisdom to shut her mouth until she's thought for a moment about what she's feeling to decide whether it's an emotion that she wants to own, an emotion that makes her into the woman she wants to be or one of those emotions that she should look square in the eye and say, "Yer outta here. You and the hormonal horse you rode in on."
This one is a bit complicated, honey. You'll spend a lot of time looking for it and thinking about it and being jealous of it. It doesn't come in the same way all the time and it often ends up looking different than you thought it would.
But I will tell you one thing. If your hunt for love begins with manipulation, jealousy and games, it's going to have a very hard time finding its way to a happy ending. Real love will start when you find someone, get to know him, and you guys spend time being kind to each other.
And if you do it the right way, with the right kind of boy, it will involve a lot less drama than Hollywood says it should and a lot more happiness.
Oh, and one more thing the show made me want to tell you: If there is every a boy who you are - I was going to say "kissing" but the thought of you kissing boys will probably give your dad a stroke, so lets go with - rollerskating with and he is openly rollerskating with several other girls. Like six...or seven...dozen...other girls, STOP ROLLERSKATING WITH HIM.
This is not the type of boy that makes a good skating partner. Someone who's really fun to rollerskate with will like you because he sees what an amazing girl you are. He'll never ask you to prove to him that he should pick you over a dozen other girls. He'll be smart enough to know you're the greatest thing he'll ever find.
The only reason you should ever even go near the guy again is to point him out to your big brother so he can kick his #**. No, forget getting your big brother. You do it yourself. Go straight for his...ankles. Those two-timin' rollerskatin' ankles.
I love you, my darling girl. Go back to playing with your trains. We'll chat again about all this in a decade or so.