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My Dearest Daughters: 14 Lessons on Love I Hope to Teach My Children

14 Lessons on Love I Hope to Teach My ChildrenMy dearest daughters,

I remember the very first time I saw your hearts beat. My eyes fixated on an ultrasound screen as I held my breath waiting. You were tiny, but your heartbeats were there. I remember the comfort I found in seeing that rhythmic motion and how I would eagerly look forward to my next appointment for another chance to hear that precious heartbeat. I have said this before, but I imagine that for the 40 weeks and 39 weeks (my Little and Littlest, respectively) you lived in my belly you listened to the sound of my own heart beating, and you found comfort in those sounds just as I found comfort in yours.

From the moment I knew of your existence I couldn’t imagine life without you. I knew what an honor and a gift it would be to get to be your mother. And so, it has been my heart’s desire to guard your heart, to protect it, and to cherish it all the days of my life. But because I can’t be with you every moment of every day I have to rely on my faith and hope that the lessons your father and I teach you will prepare you for life — a life that we pray is always filled with love.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, here are 14 love lessons I hope to teach you:

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  • Follow Your Heart 1 of 14
    Follow Your Heart
    I believe that our heart knows what is right, and what is best. Sometimes when we want something (or someone) that isn't for us, we try to justify or rationalize it, but the heart knows. Do the things that make you smile. Surround yourself with people that make your heart smile.
  • Be the Best at Loving 2 of 14
    Be the Best at Loving
    When you grow up, you will realize that I wasn't as perfect as you believed. You will realize I wasn't the best at doing the laundry (and that my best cleaning happened right after I learned we were having company). You will realize there are better chefs than I. That sometimes I wasn't really using the restroom; I was faking it for some alone time. But I hope you will see that I was really great at one thing: loving you. It's one of the things people will remember most about you: the way you treated them, the way you valued them, and the way you loved them.
  • People First 3 of 14
    People First
    Things are nice to have. Pretty, shiny things, perhaps even nicer. And some things are necessary. But things do not make life worth living. People do. Material possessions can be replaced; people cannot. Take away the people you love, and suddenly things no longer matter. All the more reason to put them first. Love them while they are here.
  • Hug Just a Little Longer 4 of 14
    Hug Just a Little Longer
    Lately there has been such heartbreak going on in the word; I am constantly being reminded of how much is out of my control. I am reminded of how much I trust and pray that God will give us another day to love each other with all we've got. And as you grow I am constantly reminded of how precious time is. How fast the small moments pass. Before I know it, you will no longer be little girls. One day you will have your own families. But for now, while I have you here with me, I will hold you in my arms each chance that I get. I will hold you just a little longer, even when my arms ache or I am tired — because you don't get moments back; you are only left with memories.
  • Fall in Love with Yourself 5 of 14
    Fall in Love with Yourself
    You see that face staring back at you when you look in the mirror? She is a jewel. She is beautifully and fearfully and wonderfully made. While people will often first notice you for your looks, your looks are only a part of who you are — and beauty is fleeting. Your heart, your character, and the kindness you show have the ability to outshine bright eyes or pouty lips. Your intelligence and the things that you have to share and say will come to mean more than how much your outfit costs. Realize that one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself is love. If you know your worth you will be mindful of how you allow others to treat you.
  • Be You 6 of 14
    Be You
    If you ask your daddy for dating advice one day, he will most likely tell you to be you. And he is right. When someone falls for you, you want them to fall for the person you are, not the person you thought they wanted you to be. Besides, who wants to go through life as someone other than his or her true self? The right person will have the ability to love an imperfect you perfectly.
  • Don’t Fear Failure 7 of 14
    Don't Fear Failure
    As parents we always hope that our children will learn from our mistakes, but sometimes you have to make your own to truly "get it." Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Some things will work out, and others won't, but if you believe in your heart of hearts that something is worth it, have the courage to leap. Mistakes are inevitable, but the great thing about them is they have the ability to become life lessons.
  • There Is Life (and Love) After a Broken Heart 8 of 14
    There Is Life (and Love) After a Broken Heart
    When I was a teenager I pictured myself marrying every guy I ever dated. Of course, when things ended, I thought it was the end of the world. I sobbed. I cried. I thought I would never meet anyone else. But eventually the tears will stop. You will see that life goes on — and most often love follows. While the idea of your heart breaking makes my eyes well up with tears, I hope you know that my arms will always be here to hold you. My arms will always be a safe place for you.
  • Be Careful Who You Give Your Heart to 9 of 14
    Be Careful Who You Give Your Heart to
    Not every person is worthy of your heart. Not everyone will handle it with care. This is all the more reason for you to be cautious when it comes to giving your heart away. Give it to someone who will cherish it, who will treat it with respect. Someone who knows the gift they are being given. And when they give you theirs, handle it with care too.
  • Love Doesn’t Turn Its Back 10 of 14
    Love Doesn't Turn Its Back
    When I was 19 and pregnant, much of the world frowned at me, and I felt more alone than ever. One day, as I sat in your nana's car crying, she promised that she would be there for me no matter what. I have a feeling those were the same words she said to me as an infant cradled in her arms. Nana kept her promise. When you truly love someone, you stand by their side — through the good and the bad. When the going gets tough, your hugs and words of encouragement will mean more to your loved ones than you will ever know.
  • Choose Love Again and Again 11 of 14
    Choose Love Again and Again
    When you finally decide to settle down, you will find that love isn't always easy. Challenges will present themselves. You will have to make the decision to choose love. Butterflies will come and go. Feelings will take you on a rollercoaster ride if you let them. But if you know what you have is a good thing, then hold on tight. Remember that storms are inevitable, but they are usually followed by rainbows. So choose love. I am not always the easiest person to love, and sometimes your daddy makes me crazy, but being his makes me so happy. He is my rock. And each and every day, no matter what we are faced with, no matter how frustrated we get, we choose love. We choose each other.
  • Marry Your Biggest Cheerleader 12 of 14
    Marry Your Biggest Cheerleader
    It is hard to think that someone could be an even bigger cheerleader than your daddy and me, but it is possible. The person you decide to spend your life with should think you rock. Because, well, you do. They should believe in your dreams. They should believe in you.
  • If You Are Going to Forgive, Then Forgive 13 of 14
    If You Are Going to Forgive, Then Forgive
    No good comes from keeping a tally of your spouse's flaws. If you make the decision to forgive, then do so and move forward. No one wants to be constantly reminded of their mistakes. Besides, by moving forward you can get back to the really important stuff, like loving.
  • Lean on Your Loved One 14 of 14
    Lean on Your Loved One
    As I told you before, my arms will always be here, ready to offer you a safe place. But one day another set of arms will provide you with comfort. And as much as I will want to hold on to you, I know that I will have to let go. When you get married, allow your husband to comfort you. Let his shoulder be the one you lean on. Give him a chance to become really great at loving you. If he is anything like the man your father is, he will put his heart and soul into loving you the best way he knows how. Allow him to become your person.

These are some of the lessons that I hope to teach you, my daughters. I will always be thankful that God saw me fit to be your mother. I will cherish the days I have shared with the two of you. Love is a powerful force. It gives us strength, courage, and a reason to fight. It makes our journey more joyous and even the greatest of challenges bearable. The heart, although fragile and precious, is strong. It allows you to carry the people you love most with you no matter where they are. I carry the two of you in my heart always. And no matter what happens, no matter where life takes us, I will always be in yours too.

 

Love forever and always,

Mommy

Photo Sources: Personal Photos/Instagram/Ria Reed Photography/Rakeem Cunningham/Visionaries Media

Find out what other moms — and Babble bloggers! — want their kids to know about love

Read more from Krishann on her personal blog His Mrs. Her Mr. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

More from Krishann on Mom:

14 Quotes About Love and Marriage

25 Quirky Valentine’s Day Gifts

Marriage: Keeping Hearts Healthy

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