My first “bragging post” was about baby Ben and you can read that here. This is my second (and last) bragging post for 2013, a letter to my daughter, to Rachel the Brave:
Did you know that we never really intended to have a daughter called Rachel? It was a not a name we dreamed of or spoke about before you arrived.
When I was pregnant with you we quite liked the name Rae, which is my middle name – I was named after my maternal Scottish grandmother. So one day I looked it up in one of those name books and it said “short for Rachel”. Hmm…we thought. And then we looked up Rachel and it meant “ewe” as in female sheep and although that would have put most people off, I was brought up on a sheep farm so it felt like some sort of strange fate.
I titled this post “Rachel the Brave” because that’s what you are. I’ve never met such a fearless little girl, tough as nails but tender too. You are not like I was – I was shy, painfully shy. As parents we always try and liken our children to ourselves, as in “She gets that from her mother” or “She has her father’s outgoing nature”, but most of the time children are born completely unique, like no one else, perfect little versions of themselves.
The only two things I’ve seen you be afraid of, are thunder and bees. And rightly so, because storms and insects can hurt you. There is so much more that can hurt you in this world, so although I have and always will try and protect you from the bad things and the bad people and from being hurt, I also want you to grow up as a strong woman, one who can think for herself and defend herself when necessary.
Life is not easy. There will most likely not be a prince who sweeps you off your feet and deposits you in a shining castle, like all the fairytales you are addicted to at the moment. You will probably have to work for your living, like I do. So most of all, I want to encourage you to find that one thing you are really really good at, and which you love doing, and hope that it can support you and your family too.
But I want you to be a child as long as possible. To have muddy feet, and wild uncombed hair and chocolate on your face and sunshine on your skin. I want you to do all the things boys do too, kick a soccer ball and build a fort, and race toy cars. But I know that it’s also okay if you abandon those things for the fairy wings and tiaras, because nature will play out, no matter what I do.
Ultimately I never want you to lose your enthusiasm for life, your naughty sense of humour, your ability to speak your mind and your kind kind heart.
You make our lives richer, and funnier, and fuller – every day.
P.S. Welcome to my new readers – so chuffed you’ve joined us. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to comment on any of my posts, whether it’s to agree or disagree or just to say Hi.
P.P.S. If you haven’t already, enter my competition to win some cool kids books from Penguin worth over R600 – entries close this Tuesday.
Photo by Camilla Blomfield of Freshshoots Photography