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Dear my teenage daughter,
I am honoured to be your mother. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that you would choose me as your Mum.
I have endeavoured, always, to give you the sort of childhood that I always dreamed about having with my children, filled with love, adventure and togetherness.
I have taken you to beaches, ski-fields, remote rivers and swimming holes and mountains. We have shared Christmases, family weddings and celebrations and amazing milestones that you each embrace with strength and wisdom.
I have taken you to the birthplace of your father on the other side of the world and encouraged you to meet your grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins at an enormous emotional cost for me.
I have taken you to New Zealand, Bali, Egypt, Fiji and Vanuatu, to every State in Australia on our around-Australia adventure, which was the best time of my life so far.
I have facilitated your learning with music and sporting lessons and we as a family have had a shared love of circus arts and alternative and folk music festivals.
I have given you the world that I want to experience, but technology is playing an increasing role in your lives. I feel like you are being sucked into this vortex of false realities and it is becoming all-consuming in your lives at the expense of balance, compassion and reality.
I, too, enjoy technology, but as an adult who grew up without any phone until I was 21, I can see the instability of a life that is fully-lived online and how it warps the sense of reality. I see how it can consume hours of your day and you don’t even notice time passing, of the trees that I taught you to hug, of the flowers I taught you to appreciate and of the movement of time that occurs naturally with the spinning of the Earth on its axis.
I see you focusing on so much negativity that exists in cyber-world at the expense of seeing the wonder of life, of the miracle of life, of your deep inner knowing and of the positivity and exciting things to be found if you clicked elsewhere. Focusing on the negativity is warping your sense of reality of the world and it’s making you bitter, not empowered as I have always encouraged you to be.
I wish that you would use the manners that I taught you, to put the phone down at dinner and to focus on the people around you as we eat.
I know I’m not the perfect Mum but I try my very best. Everything I do is to give you the opportunities of the world so that when you eventually go out on your own, you are armed with information, experience and wisdom so you can have the very best life that you possibly can.
Maybe if we had stayed in one place and given you a more stable existence, you would see the world differently, but maybe this is who you are and I have to accept that you will find your own way in the world, even if it’s a path that I do not like – and yes, that’s my stuff.
Maybe I need to trust that I’ve given you the best possible foundation in life and that yes, maybe you are ready to be out in the world, making your own decisions, without me.
Maybe this is just me lamenting the fact that your childhood is over, that our time together as a close-knit family is ending.
Maybe I need to see you as the woman that you are becoming and for you the journey is a little rocky at this time.
Maybe this is just me not accepting that you aren’t a little girl anymore.
Maybe this is me grieving what was and not being open to what will be and not enjoying every moment. But some days, the moments are so draining. Your negativity and anger drag me so far down that I need extra meditation to find myself again.
I love you with every beating of my heart. You are all the reason I get up in the morning and the reasons I’m grateful for as I close my eyes at night.
I am really struggling in your adolescence and I’m hurting, but I will get through this time, as will you.
I believe in you and know that you will make the best decisions for your life and when you make a decision that doesn’t work, I will be here to hold you and pick you up, as I always have been, even if you don’t understand the way I express my love.
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