To my special daughter,
Charlie girl, I've tried writing this letter to you a million times. Every time I try to actually hand write it I break down into a sobbing mess. I'll just blame it on the hormones going crazy. You're not even here yet and you're already making your moma crazy! There are so many things I want for you. First and foremost, I want you to know how much your daddy and I love you. We've loved you from the very second we knew you existed. That Sunday morning, watching the movie "Riding in Cars with Boys", your daddy and I were both floored, totally surprised. We weren't expecting you, but God knows what He's doing, and He decided that He was going to give you to us then and there. This is not a responsibility that either one of us takes lightly. He has intrusted you to us, and I hope we can raise you in a way that makes your Heavenly Father proud. You need to know that God loves you unconditionally. This is hard to say, but He loves you more than your daddy or I can, and we love you more than words can say, so be impressed. God is a pretty impressive guy. I want you to be an open minded and understanding person. I want you to have your beliefs, and be able to defend them if you have to, but I also want you to know that not everybody will share the same views and beliefs as you, and that's ok. Respect others and their opinions. There is no right or wrong answer in many areas of life, and the sooner you understand that, the more open you will be to other people. You don't have to like what somebody believes, but you do have to respect them. I hope that the people you come across will show this same courtesy to you. If they don't, no big deal. Just know that you were the bigger person. I want you to read. A lot. Your moma's favorite thing in the whole wide world, other than you, is to read a book. Your daddy is a book worm too, so be prepared for the pressure we put on you to read. Reading opens your mind up to different worlds, views, and lets you use your imagination like no other thing can. I could go on and on about how important books are, but you'll figure it out. I want you to know its ok to be a dork. I'm not gonna lie, your daddy is a pretty cool guy, but your moma? Oh man, am I a goober. Laffy Taffy jokes are hilarious, no matter what daddy says. If you're convinced your going to get a letter to Hogwarts, then by all means wait for that owl. You want to be in marching band? Do it! I did, and I can say it was my favorite part of high school. Star Wars? So totally cool. Pretending your a lion from The Lion King and wearing a cape and having a contest to see who has the loudest roar? That's cool too. Its ok to make lame jokes and then be the only one laughing at them. If you think its funny, then laugh. If you think something is cool, then it is. If you like something, then don't let anyone tell you its stupid. Knowing its ok to be a silly goober will directly impact your self esteem. The more secure you are in who you are, the less you will suffer as a teenager. Being a teenager is hard, and anything you can do to make it easier is important. This next thing is incredibly important, and we will talk about it when your older, but I'm going to mention it now. I do not want you to ever, ever, ever feel pressured to do drugs, drink, or have sex. You will get pressured at some point, but hopefully you will be strong enough to resist. Drugs of any kind are bad. Period. Sex? Oh boy am I not looking forward to this talk, but we will have it, and it will be ok. You'll most likely feel embarrassed, I did, but that's ok. I'm your moma and we'll figure it out. Drinking? Well this one will most likely be tricky. See your Barge side of the family likes to have a good time, and that's ok! Even I like to have a good time every now and then, but you will not be joining in on the fun until you are of legal drinking age. Period. I feel VERY strongly about this, and as your moma, what I say goes. Others may tell you its not a big deal, or that I won't be that mad, but I promise you this: it is a big freaking deal and I will be pissed, not mad, pissed. This is something else we will talk about later. I want you to always know that the world doesn't, nor anybody else, owe you anything. You are not entitled to anything. I will not do your homework for you. I will help you, but you better believe I will not research for you, write for you, or do it for you. As you get older, it will be your sole responsibility, and if you don't do it? Well, there will be consequences both at home and school. Everything that you do will have consequences, whether they be good or bad, and you should always remember that. You will have chores, you won't get an allowance, you won't get a cell phone until your 16, and whether you get a car or not will be decided at the time. You will hate me, and that's ok. All daughters at one point or another hate their mother. I hated your Gabby when I was a teenager, but then I matured, and she's now my very best friend next to your Aunt Heather. I hope to raise you the way she raised me. I won't be your friend until your an adult. I am your moma, and I will always act like your moma, even when you're a grown up. But you will eventually be a grown up, and we will be friends too. I promise I'll try not to act like a psycho when you start to date. Although, I don't think I'll need to. Between your daddy, your grandfathers, your four uncles, and your other "uncles", I already feel kinda bad for whatever poor boy decides he wants to date you. And oh yeah, you won't be dating until your 16, so don't ask any sooner than that b/c it won't happen. When it comes to friendships, I hope you choose quality over quantity. Don't hang out with "drama" girls, or other people that bring you down or are negative. It took me a long time to figure this out, and my wish for you is that you learn this sooner than I did. I want you to love your sweet baby Keech, and all other animals. Your not even here yet, and this dog already dotes on you. But you don't have to like birds. They're creepy and freaky, so its ok if you don't like them, I don't. Be polite. This is so incredibly important. You will use "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am" and "yes sir" and "no sir", you will put your napkin in your lap, you will try really hard not to interrupt (this can be tricky, its ok to slip up), you will say "thank you" and "please", and you will not act like a crazy person at the dinner table or when we go out. You will go to time out if you cut up, and hopefully I'll never have to spank you. I got spanked maybe like 4 times in my life, and just knowing that was a consequence was enough to make me walk the straight and narrow. Hopefully you'll be a chicken like your moma, and won't try to push the envelope too much. Be nice to people. Sometimes it'll be hard, but its much better, and easier to be a nice person than a hateful one. I'm not going to do everything for you. This will be something we figure out as we go, but just know that it'll happen and I'll decide what I do and don't do. You will learn to be an independent person. I don't want you to always depend on us for everything, that won't help you learn to be a functioning adult. There are so many other things I want you to know, but I don't know everything. I'm still growing up too, and we're going to learn a lot of things together. And daddy? He doesn't know everything either, but he'll pretend like he does. I give you permission to call him out on his crap. I do :) Charlie girl, you are so loved. I want to protect you from everything, and teach you everything. I am so excited for you to arrive, I can barely stand it. I'm going to miss having you in my belly, but I'm also ready for you to not be in my belly. I am so ready to meet you Charlie girl. We already have such a special bond. I'm not sure I'm ready to share you with the world yet. Forgive me for being selfish with you. You have your whole life to get away from me, so while your a baby, your ALLLLLLL mine. And daddy's too, but mostly mine. I hope that when you read this letter when your older it makes you smile, and that you can feel the love I have for you. You think I love you now? Just wait. It just gets better from here baby girl.