They say a daughter is a best friend for life, someone you will always have. While this is true and you’re the best thing life could have ever given me, remember before I am your friend, I am your mother. As your mother, there will be times that you think I’m being unreasonable, unfair or controlling but understand these choices come from a place of love. My biggest fear is that you might endure harm or hurt as a result of something that was my job to protect you from. You view the world through unbiased and pure eyes and I want to preserve that as long as I possibly can, but sadly the world in which we live can be dangerous and disheartening. So when I say no you can’t go over to so and so’s house it’s not because I don’t want you to have friends, it’s because I don’t know that person’s house, their family or who you may encounter there. The world you’re growing up in is far different from the world I grew up in and an entirely new world from the one that your grandparents remember, people are not always who they appear to be and sometimes innocence is viewed as a weakness. I will always fiercely protect you and that starts with knowing who and what crosses your path.
There are times, even now at seven years old, that you think I’m being unfair or asking too much of you but I assure you it’s only because I know you are capable. Last week you came home with both a math and spelling test with a grade in the 60 percent range, the week before you scored 102% on your spelling test. I was upset with the scores and as a result you lost 15 minutes on your bedtime for an entire week much to your dismay. You complained and groaned while telling me you didn’t know the material, but I know you did and I know when you’ve stopped trying or never started. You see my lovely daughter you are a part of me, you carry traits that I myself have or have had and I know your moves before you make them. It’s funny (well, not really) that when I sit at parent teacher conferences and the teacher tells me “Ava could do so much better if she applied herself” I am reminded of the days when I was in your seat and your grandma was in mine. I know what it’s like to just generally loathe a subject or task and do it reluctantly because it is required of you that is why when it comes to math, I just ask that you do your best and bring home at least a 75%. In other subjects, ones that you’re more than capable in, I expect an 80 or better and you know this, in fact you’re able to tell me when you think you’re getting less than that. I know you’re talented, smart and more than able in most all subjects and I only push you to do better because you can, because I want you to recognize your abilities. I don’t push you because I like to memorize 20 spelling words a weeks or because I enjoy calculating peculiar common core math problems. I do it because I want you to take pride in your intelligence.
You might view me as the “bad cop” for now or until you’re out of your teenage rebellion phase, and I’m okay with that. It took me many years to realize my own mother was not Cruella Deville but a mother trying to guide her daughter on the right path of life. I disagreed, defied, ignored and drove my mother insane from ages 16-22 because I was too wound up in the rhythm of my own drum to realize I wasn’t playing a song, just making noise. Now that I’m older I see that she was right about most things and that because I was mad at the messenger I wasn’t listening to the message. At the age of 25, I have accomplished most of the things I had set out to do when I was 20 but my own blinders slowed me down. I anticipate that because you’re so strong willed and outgoing, and because you’re my child, that you will experience similar phases and anger towards me and my guidance, in fact I’m preparing for it. Just know that even when I seem crazy that there is a method to my madness and that madness is driven by my fierce and powerful love for you and no matter how old you get I will always have “bad cop” moments.