I'm not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to write you a letter. You don't know how to read yet. Your days are full of toys and Treehouse, playing with your friends and fighting with your brother. That's how it should be.
But for some reason I feel compelled to write this down, to make sure that you have it close if the day comes when you need my advice and I am not there to give it. There are people out there - people in positions of power even - who might have you believe something different, and I want to make sure you know the truth.
I hope the day when you need this advice will not come for awhile - or ever, really - but I also know that I cannot keep you safe forever. Like how one day you will want to wear those short shorts to the Stampede and I will not know how to stop you. Or I'll try to stop you and you'll pull a Stephanie Kaye and change into your hoochie clothes in the washroom at the BMO Centre before you and your friends wander the grounds.
You will keep secrets from me. Wait - what I mean is that you'll try to keep secrets from me. I might let you believe that.
I have little doubt that there will come a day when the most important thing in the world to you will be whether or not a certain boy likes you. And that you will equate "likes you" with "finds me attractive". We all want to be liked, to be admired, to be desired. I remember what it was like to put myself out there without any of the cynicism that comes from a heart broken, a love lost. I want that for you.
You will want to do things you don't even know about yet and that I don't want to think about. You should know that if you have any questions, you can talk to me and - only if we have to - we'll figure out how to tell your Dad.
But I want you to always remember that:
Even if you're wearing short shorts
Even if you're giving him flirty eyes across the room,
Even if you said yes and then changed your mind
If you say NO and he doesn't stop or if you say STOP and he says no:
IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT
And, most importantly, know that whatever happens your Dad and I will not judge you. We are always here for you and you can trust us to stand up for you, even if certain authority figures will not.
(To my son: If she says No, you Stop. That's all.)