Dear Country Club Manager,

Don’t you remember what it was like to be young?

To have a small closet, a tiny allowance, limited resources, but unlimited beauty?

Don’t you remember what it was like to have nothing special to wear but yourself, your long legs, your shiny hair, your teeth that will never be this white and unspoiled again?

No.  No you don’t.  If you did, you wouldn’t have tapped my daughter on the shoulder and told her that she couldn’t stay at the party. Couldn’t stay unless she went home and put on a pair of longer shorts, or a dress, or a pink and green plaid golf skirt.

In the end, you have accomplished nothing. Because when she comes back in the lake blue dress, gleaming in the late afternoon light, you realize it has nothing to do with what she wears.

The light will always find her.  She shines no matter what container you put her in.

Very Sincerely,

Her Mother, Who Told Her She Looked Great

Dear Graduate,

Celebration is the joyous refusal to think about what’s next.  There is color and passion in this moment, in this festive sliver between childhood and adulthood.

Remember how this feels, to celebrate a job well done.  And remember to do it often, with small successes, and obstacles overcome.  That feeling of accomplishment, followed by joy, is one of the only graces in the world.

May you know it always, not just today.


The Dropout

Dear Writer of Mother’s Day Promotions,

You must be very young.  Have you led a gifted life, with a be-ribboned car on your 16th birthday, and diamond studs when you graduated from college?  Is that what you think it’s about?  Is that why you are doing what you’re doing?

You do not understand what it is like to be a mother.  Or to lose a mother.

If you did, you would write more carefully.  You would find a way, even though you are peddling jewelry or gift cards or meals, to tell people to appreciate what they have now.  And celebrate what they once did.

Please, please understand that just because you are lucky, not everyone is.  Image

Very sincerely,

A mother and a daughter