Dear Daughter, Confidence Suits You

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confidence

Dear Daughter,

My dear, sweet daughter. You, my joyous, talkative, proud, 5 year old fill my heart with love. I firmly believe you to be a gift from God and the epitome of His beautiful image.

Apparently, so do you.

Before you were born, while painting your nursery in bright but delicate colors, I’d dream of you. I would imagine your formative years playing out in front of me. I thought about the kind of mom I wanted to be. The example of a woman I wanted to set. And having struggled with self-confidence myself, I had mentally prepared for the day I’d need to be there to console a pre-teen daughter struggling with her self-image as I did in my own youth.

I thought of all the ways I would portray confidence to set an example for you. Thinking through the cumulative parenting tips I’d read on how to raise confident daughters; don’t talk down to yourself in the mirror, don’t talk about food in a negative way, buy dolls with realistic body sizes just to name a few.

Carefully, I would construct a framework around you that would show you your worth and prop you up when the world inevitably kicks you down.

And maybe I will still need to provide this service for you. Maybe the more seasoned moms of teen daughters will tell me the time will come when you need to be reminded of how valued you are.

But not today. Oh, girl, not today, there is no need.

You stand in front of the mirror, combing your hair telling the walls and yourself how beautiful you are. How you have the “most gorgeous” hair. It’s the “longest, prettiest, blondest hair.” I stand in the doorway, admiring you and repeating those words silently to myself, chuckling quietly at the thought of how badly I wish I could tell myself that same thing while keeping a straight face.

“Mom, I’m the strongest and the fastest.” “No one can beat me.”
Fact.
“Really? That’s awesome.”

“Mom, did you know I’m the smartest?”
Obviously.
“Is that so?”

Pure, uncorrupted confidence.

But when others pay you compliments, your response elicits laughs:

“Tazzy, you’re so beautiful.”
“Yeah, I know.”

I cringe.

I gently remind you we should say “Thank you” rather than “I know.” But I’m simultaneously wondering if I should just let it go, my girl. Let you continue to traverse your world without redirection for fear of inadvertently introducing self-conscientiousness to you. The world, I reason, will humble you. I should support you.

In reality, navigating the fine lines of building confidence, but not arrogance is more nuanced than I could have imagined. In the end I pray you’ll be balanced.

But for today, I’ll relish the example you set for me.

I’m the strongest, fastest, smartest, most beautiful woman in the world, just like my daughter.

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Rachel is a native Coloradoan, though originally from the Western Slope. She followed her husband Chris to his hometown of Colorado Springs after having met in engineering school at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Together they have four beautiful children, Tommy (2011), Tazzy (2014), Zach (2015) and Zinny (2018). Having a young and active family keeps Rachel on her toes trying to find ways to keep the ship sailing while still meeting all the demands of motherhood. Though Rachel loves her most important role as Mommy most, she also works full time outside the home as a Water Resources Engineer for the Colorado Division of Water Resources. This role helps keep her life centered, bouncing from detailed and complex discussions relating to Colorado Water Law with her husband ( a mechanical engineer) to daycare and preschool drop off and pick up schedules, while being constantly interrupted by the equally complex musings of her 4 year.

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