Wishes for My Daughter

Wishes for My Daughter

From A 6th Bowl of Chicken Soup for the Soul

Wishes for My Daughter

My daughter turns eighteen today. For her birthday I am giving her a set of Agatha Christie novels, a Billie Holiday T-shirt and a CD by an alternative rock group whose name I could hardly bring myself to say at the music store. But like the fairies who gathered around Sleeping Beauty’s bassinet, what I wish for her cannot be bought. As she crosses the threshold into womanhood, I wish that:

• She discovers a calling she is so passionate about that it is impossible to tell where work leaves off and life begins.

• Good fortune and reasonable caution collaborate to keep her safe in a violent world.

• Just once she falls in love so hard with the wrong person that the ride is worth the fall.

• She continues to be lifelong friends with her little brothers. (Who else could commiserate with her so well about what they all call “Mom’s ways?”)

• She never has to wear hose and heels for work, only for dancing.

• She tries anything legal that interests her.

• She enjoys good health (accompanied someday with a recognition of the need for outerwear in winter, which other parents tell me will kick in when she is about twenty-one).

• She spends her life in the company of great dogs, good books and loyal friends.

• She finds a community of faith in which she feels at home.

• She continues to make music all of her life, even if— maybe especially if—it’s just for fun.

• She finds a wonderful husband with a great sense of humor who adores women, especially her (but not for at least a decade).

• She discovers it is more important to be purposeful than happy, and more important to be happy than rich.

• She experiences sex as both profound and hilarious.

• She has at least one child, so that she can forgive her parents. (Okay, okay, only if she really wants one).

• The breast cancer epidemic is under control by the time she reaches the age of significant risk.

• In these coming years she is able to separate from her father and me without pain and guilt (well, not too much guilt).

• She continues to regard food as one of the great pleasures of life, and never gets crazed about dieting.

• She has many wonderful adventures involving passports and cross-country train trips, but that she does not terrify me with the dangerous parts until much later, over a glass of wine that she’s buying.

• She always knows she can count on her parents’ unconditional love, even when we drive her head-banging crazy.

Rebecca Christian

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