Betsy Lee new

Dear Daughter,

You can’t take your shirt off anymore, to run through the sprinkler or dive into a lake. I hate this fact just as much as you do.

I wish you could always have the freedom of childhood at your fingertips.

Dear Daughter,

Yes, I have lines on my face. More every day.

Please stop pointing out each and every one.

(That goes for gray hairs too.)

Dear Daughter,

I wish I could be one of those women that celebrates your period starting, but I just don’t feel it. It might’ve been a way women in the middle ages got a break from their routine duties, but today it’s just a hassle.

P.S. Tampons aren’t that scary. Don’t worry.

Dear Daughter,

Throughout American history, women haven’t had it easy. It’s getting better every day, because brave women have been blazing a path — for you. Don’t take it for granted.

Show up. Speak up. Live up.

Dear Daughter,

So there’s this phase coming in which everyone says we’re supposed to fight and argue.

I’m cool with skipping this. Sound good?

Dear Daughter,

Seriously. Don’t pop your pimples.

(See picture of my large pores ... that you took ... to show me how strange they look.)

Dear Daughter,

I know you’re not interested in boys (or girls) yet. I know it seems crazy to you right now.

Just trust me. Things will change in that department.

Be prepared.

Dear Daughter,

Men and boys are noticing you now. Later, it will start to feel good. I know. I wasn’t always this old.

It’s OK to be proud when someone tells you that you’re beautiful. It’s OK to enjoy the attention.

Just please, for goodness sake, leave a guy if that’s all he has to say.

You are not one-dimensional.

Dear Daughter,

Find one thing — just one thing — to be your anchor for the next 10 years. It could be making artwork, making music, running, journaling or origami. It can be your home base when the life’s mountains seem to big to climb.

Dear Daughter,

I love you. Rely on it.