It seems like just about everybody has advice for girls these days. What to wear, how to talk, whether to drink. As the mother of sons, I have a few things to say too, especially to girls who want to date my boys.* Here’s my dish.
I see you with your puckered lips and your barely-covered butt and your neckline just high enough to not get you in trouble at school.
I see how you look sideways at my boy, just now growing into his manhood, and I see how you want him to look at you.
I see you, and I have a few things to say to you. They are probably not the things you’re expecting.
1. Your Clothes Are Not Appropriate For My Son
Nor are they inappropriate for him. They are not for him at all. They are for you.
What you wear is between you, your parents, and your school.
You are not responsible for dressing a particular way to prevent my boy doing particular things. He is responsible for his own self.
Sure, my son might look at you a little longer if you wear certain things. He might even say inappropriate things. I hope not, but I was young once, and sometimes young people do dumb things (sometimes grown-ups do too, but let’s pretend for a minute that we grow out of it).
No matter how you dress, you will never, ever be responsible for anything he, or any other person, says or does.
2. You Are Not For Him
Just as your clothes are not for him, neither are you. You are not here for someone else’s pleasure. You are here for your own sake. You are not for him because you are for you.
3. You Won’t Make Him Happy
My dear child. You can’t make my son happy, because nobody can make another person happy. He is responsible for his own happiness.
4. He Does Not Value You
When a jeweler assesses a gem and gives it a price, he is said to “value” the gem. My dear, there is no boy alive, not even my son, who gets to decide your worth. Your value is yours, forever, regardless of any other person’s opinion. And I assure you, regardless of what you think right now—you are priceless.
5. I See You
Oh, yes, I do. I see you. I see your purple hair and the diamond in your nose (oh, honey. You’re going to have to try harder than that to shock me), I see the way you shake your hips and plump your lips. I see you and here is what I see:
I see beauty.
I see wonder.
I see a child of God whose worth is beyond measure.
I see a girl who is trying so hard to be amazing when she needn’t try at all because she is already there.
Beloved girl. You are going to do incredible things. You do not need my son. You do not need his eyes or his hands or his desire. You certainly don’t need his financial support, as was once considered necessary. You have everything you need inside you.
But if you decide you love him, and if he loves you too, then that is okay with me. You have my blessing. Just don’t expect him to make you happy. That is your responsibility.
Mama To Three Boys
*The specific girl depicted in this letter is an entirely fictional amalgam of many young women I have known. She is not intended to represent any real person, living or dead. The image is pulled from Wikimedia Commons and does not in any way represent any real person that I have ever met. If, by some coincidence, a purple-haired girl with a diamond nose ring happens to have a crush on my son, I apologize and I promise you that I have no idea. And if I did know, I would never embarrass you by talking about it in public.