Your Room: A Letter to my Daughter
This post originally appeared on our old blog, Born to be a Bride.
My sweet and precious girl,
I spent a bit of time in your tiny, cozy room yesterday. I had plans to visit with a girlfriend and had been racing around getting the apartment “ready.” One thing I hope you don’t inherit from me is the constant need to please others. This friend, a new mom herself, greets me at her own door in a sweatshirt and no makeup, unabashedly leading me through piles of baby stuff toward the couch, always offering a glass of water or soda, but never apologizing for the state of things. I, on the other hand, 40 weeks pregnant, felt the need to whip out the Murphy’s Oil and attack our brand-new dining room table that hadn’t a smudge on it.
By 5 pm I was feeling restless and I opened the heavy, modern sliding door to your nursery hoping to find something I could clean or organize. We are waiting on a piece of furniture, a little white table atop which will sit your bunny lamp, a humidifier, and Mommy’s much-needed nightly glass of wine. And your incredibly hard-working father has yet to find a minute to hang a hook for the dried crown of flowers from your baby shower in New York City. The room is not perfect. It’s not done. It is not worthy, I felt, of posting here, with these missing pieces. Again, darling, it is my sincerest hope for you that you learn early and deeply not to worry so much what everyone else thinks. Last night I officially decided to stop obsessing over your room and applaud myself for the maniacally cleaned and folded clothes I’ve sorted and arranged from newborn to 6-12 months. I gave myself a pat on the back for finding your gold wall dots online at a fraction of the Pottery Barn price, and smiled softly thinking how artistically your daddy put them up, despite his self-doubt.
And I sat in your rocking chair (which is surprisingly comfortable! Everyone should have a rocking chair — baby or not!), and I held your soft, white bunny from your Uncle Noah who loves you so much already. It is a very tiny room, your pink-gray-and-gold corner of the world. There is not much space to walk around, there is no window, and the chair feels cumbersome and superfluous but it’s staying. By the time you know what any of this means, we’ll be in a bigger apartment, or in a house, and you’ll have the room I want you to have as a little girl. With a ballet barre if that’s your request. Or a huge doll house, or a fantasy land of animals or sea creatures or whatever fits your fancy.
But I am so very proud of your little space. It’s effortlessly feminine, darling in every way. Every corner has been curated with sweetness and love at the helm. It is the perfect place to spend the first year of one’s life. Virginia Wolf expressed that every woman should have a room of one’s own, and you always will. When I tuck you in on your first night home (no blankets, that’s unsafe, we’re using “tuck in” proverbially here!), it will be the start of your very own, lifelong adventure in Dreamland. As a child I spent a lot of time in my room, writing poems and songs, playing with my dolls, fantasizing about being a grownup in New York City with red lipstick and heels. I wish you a lifetime of make-believe, and I know that you’ll make it all come true. We talked enough about what I hope you don’t get from me — a sense of whimsy is what I hope you do.
Your Loving Mother.