A Letter to My Daughter on Her 3rd Birthday

Dear Chiara,

I can’t believe that you are 3 years old already.  I know I’m going to ask myself this each time  you turn a year older. As I am sitting to write this letter for you, you are sleeping by my side and am watching how much you have grown in these three years. I can see the whispers of the woman you will be one day. You are smart, strong-headed, bold and confident. You are clear about your choices and know what you want. And as much I feel overwhelmed by this quality right now (because your demands for toys are endless for now), I do appreciate it as I know this will only help you in future. You won’t be a confused and a shy girl like your mom was in her teens, you would rather be an extrovert and an outgoing one, ready to take on the world in her stride. I hope you stay this way and only become better and smarter.

Happy 3rd Birthday to my baby girl, the one with the black, bouncing, and glorious curls.

Now as you are growing up Chiara, there are a few things I want you to know and remember for life. Right now, you are in a secured and loved environment. Both me and your dad try to give you the best of comfort and safety. But in a few years, as you would step out of the house to be on your own, you would see the world is very different. It’s tough, harsh and challenging. You’ll have to be really careful in your choice of friends. You will meet all sorts of people. Some will uplift you (treasure them!) and some will pull you down. Just forgive the latter and move on in life. Never let any experience (the good, the bad or the ugly) get on you. Always remember who you are and stick to your values.

I may not always tell you but I love spending time with you. I call you my drama queen ( you are a big one) and your little antics make my day. The way you call me ‘Ibu‘ instead of ‘Mama’ or ‘Bunda’ makes me hug you everytime. And the way you take care of your grandma, melts my heart. Of course, I can’t ignore your fights ( you two get on my nerves sometimes). But I can see the love behind your ‘bicker’ and the tears that you shed for each other when taken apart.

Right now, you come across as very expressive of your feelings. You are pretty sure of what you want- be it in terms of clothes, toys or snacks. I hope this clarity in your head remains this way. Do not change yourself for anyone else. Wear what you want, do what you like – with grace and confidence. Take all the criticism in your stride (there is no escape from it), but do not let it dim your light. It’s ok if you don’t want to wear high heals or a flashy dress to a party. But if you do, wear it regardless of your height and weight. Please don’t fall victim to the false conventional standards of beauty. Embrace yourself as you are. Trust me you are the most beautiful girl I have come across. And it’s your smile that makes you shine (not your dress, complexion, height or weight, just your smile that comes straight from the heart). Always remember that!

Also know Chiara, that life is full of surprises and sometimes you will have to make unexpected choices. Don’t find it too difficult to use the word ‘NO’. It’s not a bad word at all. And using it won’t make you any less than who you are. Make friends with this term and don’t be afraid to use it. If you don’t want to do something, just say No (Homework for now is an exception here!). You don’t have to please everyone around you. But at the same time don’t be rude. Be firm but not rude! As I always tell you, you don’t have to be nice all the time, but always be kind. And treat everyone with respect (even while disagreeing with them).

Soon you will be caught up in school, college, studies, work, career. But don’t forget to enjoy the little joys of life. Take time to slow down and enjoy life. Find a hobby, pick a passion, know your talent and do things that give you joy. And while doing that just be grateful to Lord for all that you are blessed with in. If there is one thing that you will need to succeed in life (along with your talent and capabilities) is Gratitude. Never forget that and be humble always.

And most importantly Love Yourself. Love yourself like we (your parents) love you. Pay attention to yourself and be who you are on the inside, all the time. Even if you find yourself commiting a mistake, do not worry or panic. Own it up and share with us. We (your mom and dad) will always be your confidants. Even if we scold you, we will still be there for you and lend that hand to pull you out of every difficult situation.

We love you loads and be it for your achievements or failures – you will always find your mom and dad supporting and cheering for you. You will always have our back, less as parents and more as friends.

Love,
Ibu & Bapak

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