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A Letter to My Son’s Future Girlfriend

Photograph by Getty Images/Flickr RF

To the girl who will one day date my son: You are interested in someone very precious to me. My world turned right side up the day he came into my life and has never been the same since. When I look at him, all I see is a flashback reel full of baby rolls, big hugs, sweet smiles, and superheroes. Although I want nothing but happiness for him, I know he will need to make mistakes in order to grow and learn. Still... it would crush me to see him intentionally hurt or used.

I know that you were also someone's precious baby at one time. There is very likely someone out there right now who is losing sleep while you're out on a date with my son. You are someone's little girl, someone who carefully decorated your hair with bows and looked at you in complete awe while they rocked you to sleep. I know your value. I know that you more than likely have a very kind heart, and that it probably skips a beat when my son looks at you.

Although I want nothing but happiness for him, I know he will need to make mistakes in order to grow and learn.

I don't care about your past, your skin color, or your economic level. I remember the humiliating pain and embarrassment of someone's mother not thinking I was good enough for her son. It's taken me many years to believe with complete certainty that she caused her son to miss out on a great girl. (Lucky for me, of course, because I went on to meet my husband and we made the cutest babies ever; I'm sure you agree.) I was always good enough. But her callous judgment and subsequent behavior toward me lead me to question myself for years. Made me doubt my worth and crushed my confidence in who I was.

"Mean girls" aren't only in junior high. Women of any age have ways of making other women feel horrible about themselves. But I'm not going to do that to you. I have enough faith in the example I set for my son and enough respect for him and his choices to know that if he thinks you're special enough to bring home to meet his family, you must be one heck of a girl.

And if you turn out to be a heartbreak, he will at least walk away wiser than he was before. Either way, I will pass on the kind words that my mother-in-law always said to me: My home is your home, and you're always welcome here.

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