i have a secret dream to one day unapologetically punch someone hard in the face.
My mother always told me to not play with matches because I could set the house on fire, and we could all burn alive and die.
She told me to always look both ways before crossing the street because I could easily get hit by a car and die.
My mother told me not to take any medicine without her permission because I might take too much which would cause my liver to fail, which would cause my body to shut down, which might then cause me to die.
My mother warned me about all the things that could kill me, but looking back I wish she would have warned me about the things that would make me want to die.
I wish she would’ve warned me about all the girls in high school who never really did anything, but something as simple as seeing them in the hallways, would make me pinch and poke my insecurities and until I ended up sitting in my room thinking of a year’s long list of excuses on why I didn’t want to eat dinner.
I wish she would have warned me about the fact that boys with nice smiles and pretty words can also have cold eyes and greedy hands. And I wish she would have told me that they would trick me into giving them everything I had, so they could then leave me body as nothing more than an empty graveyard.
I wish she would have told me that one day I would fall into a bottom-less abyss of self-loathing and incomprehensible sadness that would make me want to not look both ways when crossing the street.
I wish she would have warned me, but nevertheless I learned, so instead when I have a daughter, I will take her new face into my calloused hands and look into her wide brown eyes still shining with innocence and laughter and tell her “Baby, this life is hard, but you are going to make it. There are things that are going to happen that are going to make you want to set yourself on fire, or drink a bottle of pretty pink poison, but I can promise you that that there’s more to life than bruised knees and bleeding wrists.”
I will tell her that flames from matches can be dangerous but to not be afraid of the forest fire that erupts in her chest when she’s staring at the glowing embers behind a pair of small blue eyes. Remember that fire can burn but don’t be afraid to reach out and feel its warmth.
Be cautious of the road but don’t be afraid to live life carelessly, because the good things in life come from unexpected choices.
“And baby, believe me when I tell you that you are more than your waistline. You are not your bra size; you are not last season’s shoes. You are how you treat people. You are the books you read, you are the music you listen too. You are a collective of your experiences, but most importantly what you take from them. ”
So as your mother, I will warn you about the boys, and the girls. I will warn you that no matter how good it tastes, eating too much cookie dough will make you sick, and I will warn you about wearing leggings as jeans. I will talk to you about society and I will warn you about self-worth and I will even warn you about me.
But the most important thing I can warn you about is to enjoy the fairytale’s but not to buy into them. Because, I’m sorry, but there’s not going to be a boy on a white horse that will come galloping into your neighborhood that will proclaim his undying love for you, and kiss your problems away. There won’t be some fairy godmother to take you away from all the bad things in your life, and you won’t always have friends that stick around when you’re going through hard times. Fairytales are nice, but in the end, you’re going to have to save yourself.
Do not ground your child because you caught them putting a cigarette flame to their wrist.
Do not discipline your child because they have cuts on their thighs.
Do not threaten to put your child in a mental institution because their only escape is self-harm.
Do not teach your children that if they open up to you about the scars on their bodies, the only thing they will get in return is punishment.