Wednesday, April 27, 2011

High Hopes

The following is an email I sent to Lil Sis last night - reprinted here with her express permission - god bless her :)

Lil Sis:

I hope that I don't kill this budding flower before it has time to plant roots.  I have been thinking about this the last few days in my spare time over the Holiday (and believe me, there was mucho spare time).  So I have to get this out.  Please try and read it in the spirit in which it is being sent - the spirit of friendship.

Sis, we chat, we email - we have now spent quality time together.  I hear the words you say to me.  The message that you constantly portray about who you are - I hate to break this to you but your vision of yourself is very much in need of an overhaul.

  Why are you so hard on yourself?  Why do you view everything in your life as a negative?

You constantly express to me, in just our short time together, that you are - not pretty, plain, unfunny, unsure, not smart, insecure, unloved and friendless.  You question your place in the world, your place in your religion and your relationship with your God.  The "what do you see when you look in the mirror" question is clearly one you've considered before.  Perhaps too many times and without a counterbalance.

Why can't you see yourself the way I see you? 

Because here is what I see when i see you.  I see a smokingly hot, extremely intelligent young woman who has the world in her hands for the taking.  You are funny as hell (and I'm a very tough judge of funny), worldly (for your age) and kindhearted.  You have parents who love the shit out of you.  Who would do anything for you to make your life better.  You seem to get along with your siblings.

Honey, you are a young teenager - OF COURSE you have angst.  Of course, the world is confusing.  You are a girl - of course your friends can seem so fickle - girls are catty bitches.

I had a really good time with you Friday - we walked, we talked we laughed.  We shopped.  All the food groups covered :)   But everything leads me back to the same road.

 The more I talk to you, the more I see - you need to stop - stop being so down on yourself.  Stop seeing with your eyes closed.  Stop obsessing over the things you cannot control.

Here's the facts - not as I see them, but the FACTS facts.  You are a very pretty girl.  Until your recent troubles, you have always done well in school - indicating you are a SMART girl .  You have mentioned about 693 girls who you are friends with - indicating that you are FAR from unpopular.  You are, dare I say, popular.  And you can certainly count me among your friends (and I'm not even catty - usually).

You have a strong tie to your religion.  Don't let that go because you are confused. Believe me when I tell you - the godless path is a very lonely one to walk.  Don't tread it lightly - it's harder to get back to the road then you may realize. 

Boys - I'm not going to tell you to stay away.  Though perhaps your mom would want me to.  What I WILL tell you - be careful.  Your body is not something you should lightly give away.  Certainly not because you want to feel accepted.  You know how I feel about sex - it's not dirty or wrong or whatever - but it's not something you should EVER have to feel wanted by some guy you know doesn't want you.  You are in a slightly different situation than me.  Protect what you have with everything you have.  Use the support we talked about.  it's available to you 24/7.

Drugs and drinking - LOL.  You looked at me like I had 5 heads when we brought that up.  You go.  You don't need it and you are smart enough to already know it.

Finally - your mommy.  Sis, you are the luckiest girl in the world to have her.  And you know it too.  You are in a rebellious time in your life.  I get that you are supposed to rebel against your parents in high school.  All i will say is, if I were you I'd make an exception.  Your mom is a special person.  She is smart and caring and a good ear.  I wish she was my mom - wanna trade?  (I'd never inflict my mother on you, don't worry).

To sum up.  You asked me last time why I'm "wasting my time" with you - because I'm not.  Seeing you - it's like seeing me 6 years ago - only a smarter, more grounded version.  One with a better support system.  And dammit - I feel i can make a difference  - AND learn some things about myself along the way.  So don't fret about me "wasting my time".

I gots me some high hopes for you Sis - and we are going to make em come true.


  1. Wow- your blog is an inspiration. imo every single teenager needs an older person as a mentor who will be there just to listen and support without an ounce of judgment... kudos to lil sis's mom and to you for accepting. The path to self discovery can be overwhelming and confusing with many ups and downs but it is truly rewarding, Hang in there:)