A User's Manual for My Daughter to Remember Me By

letterSili is the chief executive mami to a little girl she calls the frog princess. And she still finds time to write about life, liberty, and the pursuit of Maminess on her blog My Mamihood!

To help us celebrate Mother's Day, she's shared her "user manual for life." Here are all 21 bits of advice for her little girl and little girls around the world:

I have so much that I want to share with you. So much that I want to make sure I tell you. But I know that as time goes by, it doesn’t matter what I say to you. You will record what you see, what you feel. This blog started off as a way for me to document My Mamihood and you are the sole reason for that. I pray I am able to show you the nuances of life, but just in case that doesn't happen, I plan on leaving a user's manual.


Today is my birthday. You sleep soundly in my bed, and when you wake, you will most likely shower me with hug and kisses. Not because it’s my birthday but because God saw fit to give me a loving and compassionate child that wakes up like this on most days.

More from The Stir: Life Advice for My Daughter ... And Myself

I want you to have something to remember me by. Some words of knowledge, some glimpse of what things were like. I guess this is the beginning of that. I turn 37 today. That may seem real old to you but trust me when I tell you, you’ll get here before you know it (you won’t believe me but, that’s okay).

  1. I want you to, first and foremost, remember that you are loved beyond measure. You can brighten my day in a heartbeat.
  2. I want you to know that it pays off to do the right thing. Even when it feels like everyone else is doing wrong and advancing. At least twice a week I tell you the word of the day is “patience”. Remember that when you’re having one of those days.
  3. Know that success is not measured by what’s in your bank account. It’s one of those accounts that only the heart can give you a balance sheet, which reminds me ...
  4. Always trust your heart. Even when you are being told not to. Even at your age you have a discernment about you that I know will only flourish with time and faith.
  5. Don’t get too mad with me when I do something to help someone out and get nothing in return. Or worst yet, get a tad bit of disdain. I don’t do it for them. Always listen to that voice inside of you that leads you to reach out a hand. On more than one occasion, someone else will do the same for you.
  6. Know that you were put on this earth to do beautiful things. Do not get caught up in the drama that your ego will surely lead you to.
  7. Read all that you can (start with Coelho and go from there).
  8. As long as we’re talking about reading, keep a Bible close by. You’d be surprised at all of the good advice you’ll find
  9. Listen to good music.
  10. Know a good glass of wine (when you’re old enough to drink). Always have enough money to buy it yourself but don’t be too hard on someone who wants to buy one for you.
  11. Love. Fully. Entirely. Leave it all on the mat. You will be hurt but let me tell you, there’s nothing like the feeling of loving with no restraints, putting it all out there, that you gave it your all. Because the love you give never disappears. Even if that person seems to absorb it and give nothing in return. It’s like a boomerang.
  12. Laugh! Do you know that when you laugh now, everyone laughs with you? Even when I’m on the phone and you catch yourself giggling to get my attention. Don’t ever lose your laughter
  13. Be bold. Take chances. Take risks (but don’t let me see it because you might give me a heart attack). Meet life where it greets you, OK, baby girl?
  14. Don’t be scared. If you hold still for a minute, you’ll know just where you are being led.
  15. Did I mention how much I love you? My love for you is immeasurable. Uncontainable and true. You are more than just my heart. Our souls are threaded together in a way that can only come from my womb nurturing the parts that became the whole you.
  16. God is good and this you already know.
  17. As you walk on your path, you will encounter people that are jealous and poisonous. Don’t get too close. Just know that there are a lot more people on your path willing to lend you a hand. Again, stay open even if sometimes you get hurt.
  18. Don’t forget to skip every once in a while. As you get older, you’ll notice that when you skip, you actually create a time/space continuum that sends you back to your childhood and it brings a little joy to your heart that you can only feel, not explain.
  19. Don’t forget that everything is a miracle (just like Einstein said). That butterfly that you ask to sit still for a picture. That flower that you talk into growing a little more. The fact that someone survived when no one thought they would. They are all miracles as long as you understand that, so are you.
  20. Don’t be dishonest. It might be a good thing in the short run when you are trying to get out of explaining yourself or you are trying hard to conceal something from someone you love because you don’t wish to hurt them. Truth might hurt, baby girl, but lies leave a scar that you can’t apologize away.
  21. Know that everything happens for a reason. And even when you are having a hard day, there is a lesson there that will allow you to grow and blossom into something beyond what even you can imagine.

So, that’s the start of my list, I guess. When you wake, I think I’ll take you to the botanical garden and we can enjoy a lovely day together among the flowers that will never do you justice and the birds that only sing because they cannot pronounce your name.

We have had some hard times but, we continue to be blessed enough to know that life could be different. It helps us appreciate where we are at. I don’t think I could be happier with life right about now. And that’s something for you to remember me by ...


For more from Sili, visit her site: My Mamihood

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Follow her on Twitter: @MyMamihood

What would you like your child to remember?

Our series of mom bloggers we love runs throughout May in honor of Mother's Day. Click here to see them all.

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