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Zoe Hendrix Ode to Our Daughters Personal Essay

A Valentine's Day Ode to Our Daughters, by Zoe Hendrix

My beautiful Harper-Rose,

I write this as you sleep soundly beside us, resembling a starfish and taking up 70 percent of our king-size bed. I still can't believe you are my daughter. Flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood.

For the last 15 months we have watched you grow and you have become the greatest joy in our lives.

These are my wishes for you:

I hope you learn early that love is not a word or an emotion, but an action.

I hope you don't face the sharp and dark edge of this world too early, but when you do I hope you know that you were born with a sword in your hand.

I hope you walk your own path, be your own knight in shining armour.

I hope you are never afraid to hold hands with your human vulnerability and see the allies around you.

I hope you walk away from anything and anybody that doesn't add value to your life. I hope you learn to forgive.

I hope you surround yourself with books and art and faces that don't always resemble your own.

I hope your hands bring healing and your voice brings calm where there is chaos. But I hope that you are not afraid to rise in anger, and use that to fuel your journey.

I hope you fall in love, but first with yourself, and never question your worth.

I hope that unlike your mum, you are not scared to let people in, but fly fearlessly knowing that while falling might hurt, standing at the cliff's edge of life and never having the courage to try hurts more.

I hope you never lose faith in the beauty in the world and believe that the best is always yet to come.

I hope you take shots and fail. And when you fail, I hope you grow.

I hope you let your growth teach you and others who cross your path.

My dear girl, I hope you fight, and that you stand up for what is right and that you never give up on what sets your soul on fire.

A few weeks ago, the world watched Oprah Winfrey proclaim in her Golden Globe acceptance speech that "a new day is on the horizon." With tears in my eyes I thought of you, my darling.

You and all of the young women of the world, who are destined to rise up — who will not have to join the wounded chorus of #MeToo, but will instead roar as an army of warriors and bring in a new day for all women.

This is my ode for all of our daughters.

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