When you were 5, I was pregnant with your youngest brother. I remember telling you that I was going to have a baby and your eyes lit up. You saw the miracle in life, and your excitement was pure and beautiful.
As I got bigger, you would put your hand on my belly to feel the baby kicking. You loved the new life that was stirring inside of me. Sometimes I would let you rub an ice cube on my belly to awaken your brother, and we would laugh when we saw a tiny foot or elbow move across my stretched skin.
I remember you holding him as a newborn and you adoring his tiny hands and feet. You were radiant in your awe and love.
When you were in middle school, we started having conversations about how special it is that you were a girl and becoming a young woman. I found I was willing to tell you things I had never told myself, and in those words came wisdom for both of us.
As an emerging young woman, there were aspects in you that I wanted you to understand and appreciate.
I wanted you to know that you are:
Sacred. Inside of you is a beauty and wisdom that is both ancient and holds the promise of the future. We discussed how every girl is born with ovaries, and that these eggs carry the imprint of what has come before us and what will go forward.
You hold the future of the human race within you. It's a big statement, but there is truth in it. In some cultures, girls and women are honored as the "seed carriers."
How we treat each girl and woman is how we honor our past and how we determine our future.
The memory of the world is in a woman's body. The hope for our future is there too.
I wanted you to understand:
Many people are focused on girls and boys being the same. We are all human, but major problems arise when we ask girls to be like boys. We neglect to honor, cultivate and celebrate what is particularly female. We can also forget to honor, cultivate and celebrate what is particularly male.
There is a harmony women and men can find living together. This is the goal, where women respect and cherish men and men respect and cherish women.
I would be lying if I told you that women and men are the same and should be. If you devote your life to being only like men, you could miss experiencing the privilege of being female -- its sacredness, beauty, strength, wisdom, mystery and divinity.
I wanted you to know:
It's important to delight in being female, in being a girl, in being a woman. People throughout the ages have speculated on what the woman in the famous portrait we know as the Mona Lisa was smiling about. I think she was smiling because she knew she was a woman. There is an ancient power and wisdom in the feminine.
Learn to feel your own connectedness to all of life -- people, plants, animals and Earth, and you will learn your strength as a woman.
(This blog is part of a series of letters I am writing to my daughter who recently gradated from college reviewing lessons she and I have taught each other.)
Kathleen blogs regularly to The Huffington Post. To be notified when she publishes a blog, please sign up here. Kathleen is the author of two books that celebrate life and motherhood:Mother Advice To Take With You To College, a collection of humorous drawings and wise sayings, and The Tiffany Box: A Memoir, an International Best Book Awards Finalist, a true story full of humor, heartache and love--told through emails, letters, diary entries and columns about the last two years of Kathleen's mother's life. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.