I love watching you grow. It’s my favorite. I like watching your brothers grow too. That’s also my favorite. When I became your mom, I thought that I was supposed to teach you everything you should know. I didn’t know that you would teach me things too. You have. I like who you are.
The other day you came home and told me some boys were bothering you. They were asking you if you’re a goody goody. You said you smiled and told them to “shoo”. You said they meant no harm. I’m glad. You’re probably right. Boys can be super weird.
I have been thinking about your story. I think it’s funny how people say, “history repeats itself.” I think they might say that, because it’s true. The things that you are going through, have been gone through before. By by people like me.
I was also called a goody goody by boys. When I was a little older than you (14), I remember being at a party. Not a crazy, wild beer party. Just a bunch of kids hanging out in the same place. At one point in this party, I was alone with a bunch of older football players. I was a freshman. We were laughing and having fun. These older boys seemed to really be enjoying my jokes. I won’t lie, I didn’t hate the attention.
At some point during the fun, one of the boys pulled out a bottle of whiskey. The boys asked me if I’d drink the whiskey with them. Now, I can’t remember the exact words I said , but I do remember responding with something like, “It will be a cold day in Hell before I drink a bottle of whiskey with a bunch of older boys. I AM 14!”
I guess I wasn’t THAT big of a goody goody. I cussed. I’m sorry. I did.
Even though that was a great idea those boys had, and I’m sure it would have been a lot of fun, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that the boys would have come out better on the other side of that great idea than I would have. I had this nagging feeling that those boys didn’t have my best interests at heart.
After I declined the boys’ generous whiskey offer, they told me I was a goody goody. They didn’t think I was funny any more. I’m pretty sure I never held their interest again.
Do you think I feel badly that those boys decided they didn’t like me? Maybe I did a little back then. Mostly I felt good. Like you do when you know you did the right thing.
Do you know how MANY things happened to me in my 14th year? So.Many.Things. I wish I could remember them all. I can’t. Don’t you think it’s weird, that this one thing that happened is something I remember? I think I know why. This moment was one of those moments you get in life that help define you. This moment was an unexpected, unplanned series of events that put me in a situation where I had to decide whether to impress and be liked, or to choose what was best for me. I had to use some courage.
This is a story I wanted you to know. You are standing at the gateway of what could be some of the most fun you’ll have in your life. There won’t be another time in your life when your main priorities should be to try new things and have fun. I want you to come out on the other side of your teenage years with good memories, a clear conscience and the start of an understanding of who God made you to be on Earth.
I see already that one thing God gave you is a strong mind. I thank Him for that. I see you making decisions that you feel are right for you. That makes me happy. I hope you never come to a moment where you make a decision to please someone else, even while you’re knowing it’s not right for you. You might do that. I have. If you do, remember grace. God has plenty. Every moment is a chance to start over.
I wanted you to know that being a goody goody is okay. It takes confidence and strength to be a goody goody. Strength and confidence are attributes that become more natural for you the more you use them. They are attributes that will serve you well and help you live a good life. Not everyone does.
Sometimes people favor you only when you follow their lead. I want you to be okay with falling out of people’s favor.
I want you to know your mind. I want you to like the person God made you to be, and not try to be something else. I want you to do all that and also be humble and kind. That’s it. That’s all I want for you. Just the world. I’m kidding you now, daughter. I can’t give you the world. I don’t know that it would be good for you to have it.
We are on this journey together; I want to point out the tricky spots that I’ve passed by before. Maybe you will hear me and those spots won’t be as tricky for you. That’s what I was hoping.