– I promise to give you more experiences than things, because things lose their novelty after a while but experiences can enrich your entire life. Experiences help you see the world from another perspective and step into someone else’s shoes. They open your eyes to the world and all it offers, all its ups and downs, and helps you maintain perspective.
– I promise to listen to you. Not just the things you say but the things you tell me without words. I promise to pay attention, to respect your thoughts, and to give you what you need – be that a hug, time, space or a snack! I promise to hear you when you can’t hear yourself, and to help you untangle your thoughts so you can make decisions and move on.
– I promise to empower you to love yourself, so you can be confident and comfortable in your own skin. So you never get caught in the shackles of self-doubt, and can believe in yourself and own your decisions. So you feel free to love others and accept their love openly and deservedly. So you know how strong and powerful you really are and aren’t afraid to show it.
– I promise to treat you with respect, and talk to you like a human being. I promise to never raise my voice in anger, and to apologise if I do ever snap. I promise not to belittle your feelings, however irrational they may appear, and respect that they are real and important for you in that moment.
– I promise to teach you the important things, like compassion, kindness, acceptance and resilience. Like how to take care of yourself physically and mentally. The world is full of information but what is truly important is often forgotten, like how to step back and see the big picture, and how to be curious and maintain an open mind in the face of new or conflicting ideas.
– I promise to do my best for you, whatever that means in each moment. Sometimes that might mean leaving you in the care of others even though you’d rather stay with me and I’d rather stay with you (most of the time)! Sometimes it might mean putting the TV on so I can cook you real food without exploding, and sometimes it will mean spending special time together to connect and have fun and be silly.
– I promise to be the best role model I am capable of being, whilst staying mindful that that doesn’t mean being perfect. We’re all human and we all make mistakes. I want you to know that that’s OK, and the world doesn’t end, and you can try again next time. I want you to know that I’m not perfect but accept my faults are part of who I am, so that you can do the same for other important people in your life.
– I promise to love you unconditionally, even if that is a cliché. Through tantrums and tears, through good times and bad, through anything that life throws at us and our family. Every day I will tell you I love you, and every day I will mean it with my whole heart. There is nothing you could do to make me stop and I hope that one day if you have children of your own, you might be able to comprehend just how powerful that love really is.
I promise you all this and more, my darling daughter, and I hope you’ll forgive me if sometimes I fail. I promise to try harder the next time.