An Open Letter to my Daughter’s First Love

Dear Prince,

I know in all reality your name is most likely not Prince, but that’s what my baby is already calling you. And to me, that is very appropriate because she is my Princess. Thats why I’m writing you this. It may seem slightly (or excessively) preemptive, but one day you’ll have a child of your own and you will understand. Until then, feel free to judge away.

Even though my daughter is currently at the tender age of 4, she talks about you all the time. At least, she’ll think that it’s you. As her first love, you will be the one who rushes in and sweeps her off her feet. You will make her heart beat a little faster, make her stomach flutter uncontrollably, and make her understand love songs with a whole new meaning.

She is ready for it. I am not

Already, she tells me every day about her Prince, and what he will be like. She has a picture in her mind of exactly who you will be and how you will treat her. And while I admit, the first time she brought you up, I suffered a minor anxiety attack, listening to her talk about the values in the kind of man she wants in her life is reassuring.

See, Prince, the thing you need to know is that my daughter is wise beyond her years. Although she is only four, she is one of the most observant and perceptive people I’ve ever met. She sees EVERYTHING. Her curiosity of the world around her is equaled only to her passion for life. And let me tell you, she is PASSIONATE. Her days are filled with dreams, songs, dances, stories, giggles, smiles, tears, fears, joy, questions, and exploring.

It can be exhausting.

But it is also one of the most wondrous things that I have ever gotten to experience. And as terrifying as it is for me to admit, there is coming a time where I will not be the most important person in her life. For a time, that person will be you. And that’s how it should be. But it doesn’t make it any easier on my heart.

So there are a few things I would like to tell you.

In case you aren’t already aware, you have found yourself one of the most stubborn individuals on the planet. She’s been like that since the day she was born. And although sometimes it will drive you absolutely bonkers, in all honesty, it’s probably one of the things that drew you to her in the first place. Her tenacity is infectious. She doesn’t do anything halfway and doesn’t stand for anyone else to either. If there is something she wants, she’ll get it, and heaven help anyone who gets in her way. She’ll never give up; it’s not in her nature. Her personality burns with a fire that I don’t see in most adults, and it is incredible. Be prepared.

Be ready to treat her like one. I don’t know how it happened, but somehow I got blessed with the epitome of a girly-girl. She loves to play with make-up, wear beautiful dresses and jewelry, paint her nails and do her hair. And. She’s. Four. I can only imagine what she’ll be like at sixteen (because if she tries to date any earlier I will lock her away in her room and call her Rapunzel-watch me). She is my Princess and she expects and deserves to be treated like one. If you need to, go find a book on chivalry. I don’t care what anyone says – it’s not dead, and she’ll expect it.

Because that’s what she will do. Right now her world is filled with magic and fairies and heroes. And while she may get older and more mature, in her heart of hearts, she will always secretly hope and wish for birds to come land on her fingers when she sings or wish to find the magic to turn herself into a mermaid when her feet hit the water. As she grows up, these will change into wishes of overcoming challenges like making the cheerleading team, or landing her dream job, or having the power to change the world for the better. She’s a dreamer. Support her, help her, encourage her. Believe in her dreams the way she believes in you.

So here’s the deal.

I know the power of a first love. Believe it or not, I was sixteen once too. I felt the same things about him that she is feeling about you. That’s how I know so much. She is my daughter after all.

And while I pray every day she can live her life without ever experiencing the pain of heartbreak, I also understand the probability is slim. Now, if the two of you do end up high school then college sweethearts and eventually settle down together I will be so incredibly happy for you.

But just in case, let me say this.

Be gentle with her heart. For as stubborn & brave a face as she puts on, her heart is so very tender. She loves with all she has, &  doesn’t hold back. She has chosen you to be the one she entrusts her heart to, please don’t break it into a million pieces.

As her mother, I want to protect her from every hurt I can, but I know it is impossible. As her first love, you will get to experience some of the most amazing things – you will be her first kiss, she will fight with you, fight for you, dream with you, encourage you, dance with you, sing with you, laugh with you, and cry with you.

And I am so incredibly happy for the both of you.

But Prince, if for some reason, you decide she is not the Queen of your fairytale, please break it to her gently. Remember, to her, you are her knight in shining armor. She is strong and fierce, but fragile at the same time. Treat her with respect. Be kind, be courteous. Keep her safe. Act like a gentleman. Stand up for what is right and what you believe in. Be virtuous and honest. Have courage.

I’m pulling for you Prince. I really am. I know that no matter what happens, as my daughter’s first love, you will always hold a special place in her heart. I hope you know how incredibly lucky you are. In return, all I ask is this:

Be worthy of her.

She deserves it.

JM Sullivan

Retelling Writer. Sparkle Enthusiast. Author. Although known to dabble in adulting, J.M. is a big kid at heart who still believes in true love, magic, and most of all, the power of coffee. If you would like to connect with J.M., visit her on social media at @jmsullivanbooks--she’d love to hear from you!

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