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A letter to my sensitive daughter

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My dear hyper-sensitive baby girl,

I can see it starting.

When I put your jacket on and your sleeve bunches up and you scream and shake your head.

When I walk away from you for a brief moment and your bottom lip curls under and tears well up in your eyes.

When the laughter of others around you makes you beam with joy and tiny giggles bubble up from inside you.

The way you dance giddily to techno music and stare, seriously and pursed-lipped, at the sound of sad, somber melodies.

The way your happiness can switch to a full-blown tantrum at literally the drop of a hat (or a toy).

Perhaps these super-charged emotions are fleeting and temporary.

But if this is a prediction of what's in store for your big heart, my dear, I can already tell—you're gonna let it all in.

I know, because you get it from me.

You're gonna feel everything to the fullest extent, no holds barred.

You'll wear your heart on your sleeve. You'll feel things deeply and you’ll take things—everything—to heart.

Childhood teasing will crush your spirit. High school bullies will almost break you.

You probably won't take criticism well, even the constructive kind.

You'll seek acceptance.


You'll sob for days if you hit a squirrel with your car.

You'll put yourself out there. Your thoughts, your feelings, your secrets. You'll reach out for deep and meaningful connections with people who understand you, who've been where you've been, who can relate. And you'll be devastated if those attempts are met with harshness or callousness or judgement.

And they will be. Because bullies don't disappear when school's out.

But my dear daughter, this over-feeling trait you've got—it's got its upsides too—ups that far outweigh the downs.

You'll be a loyal friend and an empathetic stranger. You'll be self-aware, or at least you'll try your damnedest. You'll be a listening ear and a helping hand. You'll lift others up and fight against those who do the tearing-down.

You'll keep your word and your commitments, because you'll know the hurt of broken ones.

You'll cry incessantly to cheesy, romantic movies, feel the pull of poetic, lyrical music deep in your soul, and have the fullest appreciation for art in all its forms.

I wish I could promise you you'll never feel heartache—that you'll never be emotionally bruised. But I can't. I'm afraid it comes with this territory.

But I can promise I'll do my best to arm you with the confidence and self-assurance you'll need to combat the barrage of attacks on your ever-exposed heart.

And you'll enter each battlefield standing tall, poised and ready to duel. You'll fight a good fight and you'll emerge—virtually unscathed on the outside—and inwardly wounded with a cut that will need healing, every. single. time.

But, my dear sweet girl,

you won't ever harden.

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