My Daughter,

I promise I will not let daddy panic over, or influence the cost of your prom dress your senior year.  All the other formal gowns we will have to shop wise, but you only have one senior prom.  To this day, over 10 years later, I deeply regret not attending mine.  So yours will be magic.  This is an event you will regret not doing right.

I promise you can come to me over the issues I may not like.  My main goal is to keep you safe, always.  Even if it means keeping you safe through choices I don’t like.

I promise that while you are still little I will dress you as girly as I can.  But I promise when you are old enough to have an opinion, it is your body and you have to like how you dress it.

I promise that the above does not mean I’m going to let you walk out of the house dressed without honor.  There is a saying I’m going to hold on to through your first 21 years: Don’t let your daughter wear makeup at 10, date at 12, wear provocative clothing at 14, and then wonder why she’s pregnant at 16!

I promise when the time does come for you to learn how to wear makeup, while I can’t teach you myself, arrangements have already been made for your lessons.

I promise I won’t let daddy scare all the boys away with his shotgun, but the one who is worthy of your heart and hand won’t be bothered by it for he has nothing to hide and nothing to fear.  He’ll treat you right.  Daddy’s protectiveness of you is to chase all the others away, not him.

I promise I’ll surround you with books, like I have your brothers.  You’ll find I’m the one that will spend the money we just don’t have on the newest book in the series you love.

I promise to shove you out the front door and lock it behind you on amazing summer days and snow days when school’s been canceled.  Locking you away from TV, computers, and even your books.  Nothing is more valuable than fresh air, running, bikes and climbing.

I promise to help you learn to love your body no matter what size or shape it takes.  I will make sure you eat your vegetables and get up and get moving, but the body you are blessed with is amazing no matter the numbers that are attached to it.

I promise to always make sure you know how pretty you are.  I promise to enforce this just enough that you have confidence but not an inflated ego.

I promise to surround you with both dolls and trucks, princesses and super heroes, satin and denim, frills and mud.  I will encourage both sides of you in whatever proportion they end up coming out in.

I promise to support you in what you love whether it’s cheer leading or the only girl on the football team, and everything in between.

I promise to do everything I can to make sure your daddy is here with us to see you accept your diplomas, walk you down the aisle, and pace outside your labor and delivery room.

I promise whomever you merry, we will support you and love them like we love you as long as they treat you right.  Gender, race, nor age will have no influence over this.  A happy, loving marriage for you is the only true requirement.

I promise to see all the wrongs in the world and do my best to use the knowledge gained to do right by you.

And I promise that while I will never be perfect at being your mother, I will learn from my own mistakes and always strive to do better next time.