Raising a Girl - By Kayla Keen

When I was a little girl, I would sit in the bathroom with my mom in the mornings. I watched as she fixed her hair and applied makeup to her pretty green eyes. I thought she was beautiful. Not only was she beautiful, but she was incredibly strong. You see, I didn’t have a great example of marriage growing up. My mom was mentally and emotionally abused for years, and still showed up for my brothers and I every day. She showed us love in the tickles and hugs and I love you’s. In the home cooked meals every night and the long, honest talks about life. Our days in that house were hard, but my mother’s love was always a constant. An unwavering, big love that I only hope I give to my own children. I wanted to be just like her then, and I still want to be like her.

I have a daughter of my own now. She is two and a mama’s girl through and through, just like me. For now, she plays with all my makeup while I get ready in the morning, or I set her on the counter if she’s being especially clingy. Whether she’s an interested two year old or a ten year old watching me from a stool in the bathroom, I want to be someone she looks up to. I hope she sees the kindness I give to others. I hope she sees the love her dad and I have for one another. I hope she sees a happy and healthy marriage. I hope she feels the unconditional love that pours from my heart for her and her brothers. I hope she sees a strong, compassionate, loving woman. I want to give her a wonderful example.

Each night, I give her a big hug and whisper, “you are strong. You are smart. You are kind. You are brave. And Jesus and your mama love you so much.” Then I put her in bed, close her bedroom door, and pray that I did enough that day to show her that she truly is all those things, and that she saw those qualities in me too.

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