If I should have a daughter…“Instead of “Mom”, she’s gonna call me “Point B.” Because that way, she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say, “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.”

She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried.

And “Baby,” I’ll tell her “don’t keep your nose up in the air like that, I know that trick, you’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire, to see if you can save him. Or else, find the boy who lit the fire in the first place, to see if you can change him.”

But I know that she will anyway, so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boots nearby, ‘cause there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks chocolate can’t fix. But that’s what the rain boots are for, because rain will wash away everything if you let it.

I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, “There’ll be days like this my momma said” when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly, and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment, and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,” ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away.

You will put the “wind” in win some, lose some, you will put the “star” in starting over, and over, and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute, be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life.

And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting, I am pretty damn naive, but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily, but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it.

“Baby,” I’ll tell her, “remember your mama is a worrier, but your papa is a warrior, and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.”

Remember that good things come in threes and so do bad things, and always apologize when you’ve done something wrong, but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining.

Your voice is small, but don’t ever stop singing, and when they finally hand you heartbreak, slip hatred and war under your doorstep, and hand you hand-outs on street corners of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.

—  Sarah Kay, ‘If I Should Have A Daughter’

To my future daughter,
There will be days
When you feel like your chest is going to cave in
Like the sky is going to fall down
No one should ever have to feel like that
But you will
Everyone does
Don’t try to hide from it
Let the sky fall down
Cry all night
And break every mirror in the house
We don’t need them anyways.

On those days treat yourself right
Be soft
Be tender
Be loving
Baby girl,
Love yourself
Love yourself loud and unapologetically
Love yourself first
Love yourself more
Because not everyone will
There will be people who want nothing more than to tear you down
But let me tell you something,
Hating yourself isn’t poetic
And it’s not going to make anyone save you
You don’t need saving.

Remember that your hands are always gonna be too small to hold all the hurting you want them too
I know this from experience
You’ll end up with nothing more than bloody palms and a broken heart
You can’t save people
And you can’t make the pain go away
You’ll hurt people just as often as they hurt you
Don’t forget how it feels to be broken and be gentle on the next heart you hold.
Even if it’s not your own.

But there will also be good days
Days that make you forget all the bad times
All the tears
These days will taste more like lemonade than razor blades
so cherish them
Capture as much happiness as you can store in your little chipmunk cheeked heart.

You come from a long line of people with big hearts and sad eyes,
But your daddy is a tornado
And your momma is a Stormchaser
We both know what it’s like to try and fight the storm swelling in your stomach
Telling you things you don’t want to hear
We both know what it’s like to be drowning in your own head
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when it all gets to be too much.

Dear future daughter of mine,

Life is hard.
It’s full of things that will break you
And build you right back up again
Somedays you’ll hate me for ever bringing you into this world
But baby girl

I promise you.

It’s all so worth it.

—  To my future daughter //{j.c.t}