Remember when you sent me to a normal high school rather than homeschool? I was so afraid that I couldn’t make friends, and my teachers wouldn’t like me, and I would get poor grades and when I fell, you weren’t there to save me.
You sent me anyway, and you told me you knew I could do that, you knew I wasn’t going to fall — I was going to climb. I can’t thank you enough to step back and let me succeed on my own, as I have earned so much confidence ever since.
I wanted to remind you of that because I wanted to reassure you that this is how you would help me build trust: you knew what I could do on my own, and then you let me do it.
You offered me freedom so that I could see my worth apart from your help and you helped me along the way. I found that I was so much stronger than I thought when I was able to see that I could complete tasks on my own, make friends without you setting it up, and reach my goals without outside support.
Stepping back also means that I am going to make mistakes, get hurt or fail at something. I don’t want you to think about that, because it will make me comfortable even if I get hurt or lose. It’s like making me have a boyfriend, and it just didn’t work out. I was always building confidence, realizing that I had practice under my belt and I wasn’t doing too poorly.
This took seven months and I am very proud of this. I got hurt, but I’m confident — because I know I’m going to fix it, and I can move on. If you redefine failure it also helps.
Mom, if I am honest, I have higher expectations for myself than yours and I see any mistake as a failure.
I beat myself over little things, but when you said, There’s nothing that you can do that’s unforgivable or that makes you unlovable, I realized my faults don’t define me, no matter what. It has always motivated me. I feel like I’m the only one to screw up when I make a mistake, given how illogical it really is. When you tell me how you did something, and it went wrong, and made a mess of a situation, I feel better because I do it too, and I’m not alone in that now.
Standardizing errors makes me feel as if I’m not the only one who doesn’t always make the right choices. And keep it running. Keep emphasizing when making mistakes, too. You didn’t save the day when I was getting bad grades because my classmate was sabotaging the project.
You’ve educated me on how to be my own hero and you’ve written the email to remedy that. When I failed to understand anything, you encouraged me to write directly to the teacher, asking for guidance. You asked me why I hadn’t questioned him yet, because my friend was being rude.
You didn’t let me off the hook, whether it was rough calls, emails or meetings. I was. I felt apprehensive. I thought the worst was going to happen. You knew it all. And you thought it wouldn’t be too bad either. And you thought I ‘d be able to. I see myself as a strong young woman, and I know I’m not powerless. It’s so great to get someone else excited about cool things with me-so thank you for being my No. 1 fan all the time! Dad, keep on engaging in what I’m doing.
That way, you are here to see and celebrate my victories. It feels amazing somebody’s taking an interest in what I love doing.
When you think I’m interesting I feel like I’m cool. You are the first one I want to tell you when something exciting happens and I know that when I tell you what’s going on in my life, you love me. Thank you for being such an incredible mom … you were instrumental in helping me build my confidence. Love Emily