Things I Want My Daughter to Know

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Why it’s so important to me to let her, and other people, know September 24, 2010

My daughter, being the toddler that she is, is much too young to fully grasp the meaning of most of what I say to her. I know this. She understands the basic concepts of “Please do [blah]” and, generally, will listen to me. Generally. But when I’m just talking to her and telling her things and explaining how the world works, trying to explain this complicated game of reality and life she and I and the rest of the world are playing with few rules (and even fewer that don’t get altered mid-game), she watches me intently and listens, but I know it’s going over her head, in one ear and out the other, not sticking and resonating with her little head.

She’s too young to understand, but it’s the point in time she needs to start learning.

There are so many things I wish I had know before I learned them the hard way; so many things I wish people — someone, anyone — would have told me before I made the mistakes which taught me the important lessons of life without a specific road map and rule book. And while I may be a human map and I may hate other people telling me how to do much of, well, anything, it would have been nice to read or hear before hand anyway. Even if I didn’t listen, it would have been nice to hear and know.

So this is where I tell her the things I want her to know, the things I want her to hear and learn. Even though I know she’ll have to learn it on her own, I want this there, in her mind, pulling at the edges, nagging her with the “You know better”s and “You know how this works”. I want her to know how to love life the first time. I don’t want her to need second, or third or fourth, chances. I want her to get it right.

I want it to be better for her.


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