An Open Letter to My Daughter

Dear Daughter Of Mine, 

There’s nothing quite like the moment you find out you're going to be a parent. The day starts like any other day — your morning routine, a workout, a breakfast — and then you take one test that changes the course of your life. It’s a surreal feeling — and one I’ll never forget. 

Another experience that left me breathless? Finding out the baby growing in my belly was a girl. We didn’t do a fancy gender reveal party and instead decided to find out at home, just the two of us. When the news was pink, and I knew you, my little one, was a girl, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. 

You see, daughter, I’ve always been a girl’s girl. I talk to my mom — your grandmother — every single day. We talk about everything; she knows everything. We’ve traveled the world together, and until I meet you, she’s my best friend.

That’s the kind of relationship I hope to have with you. Somehow, being a woman, raising a girl makes me feel more comfortable. Though I know parenthood will present a million unexpected trials, there’s strength between females, and I’ll always be your greatest champion. 

And I’ll be here to guide you through everything this big ‘ole world will throw your way. Soon, you will begin your journey, and there are a few things I want you to know about life, about love and friendships, about the importance of self-love and acceptance. 

Your best is always enough

When you take your first steps, it’s okay if it’s just one or two. When you go to school, whatever subjects you love, you should pursue. When you grow older and everything feels like it's changing, I hope you will find confidence in yourself — and in those special gifts that are uniquely yours.

I’m not sure what life will look like when you’re a teenager — there will probably be a super version of the internet at that point — but I hope you will choose not to compare yourself to others. It’s a joy-sucking trap that we all fall into, but as your grandparents taught me, I will try to remind you that your best is always enough. 

As long as you are true to yourself and you work to be the best version of you that you can be, the rest of it will fall into place. Your energy should always be toward goodness and positivity and not toward jealousy or fear. When you focus on what you love about yourself — and what you’re more than capable of achieving — you’ll shine a light like no other. 

Your body is a miracle. 

One day, when you’re older, I’ll tell you about my body and skin insecurities. Though your grandmother was always neutral about her appearance, once I explored the world of modeling, I was quickly introduced to unrealistic pressures and expectations of women. There’s no such thing as ‘good food’ or ‘bad food’ — there’s just food, and there’s health. There’s no perfect size or shape. There’s only you — and that’s a special thing. 

My daughter, please remember this: your body is a miracle. It will get you out of bed in the morning. It will walk you through the streets of New York, Tokyo, or wherever your wanderlust takes you. It will let you jump and dance, grow and change, and become whoever you will be. It’s a powerful, beautiful thing — so don’t be mean to it. Instead, I urge you to lean in to the transformations you’ll experience. 

From puberty and your 20s to your 30s, and if you choose pregnancy, that body of yours will guide you through so many life-changing experiences. I hope to spare you from some of the anxieties and battles I had and teach you to see your body as the miracle it is. (And I should know, I’m growing you!)

Your beauty comes from inside. 

Before you roll your eyes at me, daughter, I know, I know: it’s a cliche saying. But it’s probably overused because it’s true. The most beautiful people you will ever meet might not be what’s classically defined as gorgeous.

Instead, they will be the ones who have the kindest heart, the most generous spirit, the most thoughtful nature. When you look in the mirror, you will undoubtedly be beautiful, but don’t focus on your reflection as much as you focus on your character. That’s what will make people stop in their tracks — and it’s worth investing in. 

You have to show up for people.

You’ll meet so many people that will change your life. And most of the time, they come across your path unexpectedly. Like, sitting next to some guy on an airplane that would later become my husband, and soon, your dad. Or, being introduced to your Aunt Christina through our husbands — and becoming instant best friends.

Whether it’s a romantic relationship or your friendships, if you want people to invest in you, you have to invest in them. And that means showing up whenever they need you (and when they don’t), having open communication and understanding, and being one another’s greatest fans.

Your dad and I will try to illustrate what a happy partnership looks like, just as your grandparents did, and you’ll one day make relationships of your very own. Don’t be shy to go out of your way for those who mean the most to you because most of the time, they’ll return the favor. 

You should follow your passion. 

As you will know, by the time you read this one day, your mom made a significant career shift right before finding out she was pregnant with you. Founding Covey, a simplified skincare line (with your Aunt Christina), has taught me so much about myself, what matters to me, and, well, what I’m good at. It’s also shown me the value of challenging myself to be uncomfortable. 

Entrepreneurism is one of those lessons you tackle in real-time as you go through it. Sometimes, it’s wonderful. Other times, it’s overwhelming. And though you may not decide to start your own company, you will find something that brings you immense joy. That, my daughter, is your passion. And you should never be afraid to chase after your dreams, no matter how big or small.

There’s no right or wrong way to develop a career trajectory, something your mom knows first hand since I didn’t go to college until I was 27. The best thing to do is look for something you would do even if no one ever paid you. Then when someone does, it’s magical. 

Your best time is spent with people you love. 

Life was a journey with your grandparents, who challenged me to go on adventures, big and small. From learning a new sport to camping, they taught me the most precious moments in life are the ones spent with people you love.

As you will learn with age, your time is your currency, and traveling is one of those things that doesn’t make you financially richer but enriches your mind. One day, along with your dad, we will show you the world. You will hop on a plane before you can walk or talk, and you’ll keep collecting passport stamps with every leg of the way. 

While I didn’t get a passport until I was 17, we hope to show you the beauty that’s found in every corner of the world. And more importantly, we hope to show you that experiences — like eating an empanada in Argentina or seeing elephants in the wild in Thailand — are more important than anything tangible you can buy. 

Most importantly daughter, know that I love you now — and I'll love you always. 

11 comments

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Emily, It is so inspiring to hear about your relationship with your family and friends—we can truly feel the love and respect you have for them. And you are so strong even if at times you do not always feel this way! Your daughter will know this about you too 💕 Thank you for showing us what kindness, elegance and strength look like in a person.

Victoria Miller August 25, 2021

Beautiful heartfelt letter Emily! Your Mom (and your Dad) were the perfect parents to keep you grounded while you flew to amazing heights!

Leslie August 25, 2021

Beautiful letter. There’s nothing like being a momma 💕 enjoy every minute of it.

Cheyenne August 25, 2021

Now that I’m done crying- I knew you would be an amazing mother. She so lucky to have you as her mom.💗 your letter to your daughter is a treasure, filled with so much amazing information that will help guide her for a lifetime💗

Lisa Norris August 25, 2021

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