To Arabella, Joseph and Theodore
I have had the privilege of seeing some incredible things. I’ve been to places we read about in fairytales. Your dad and I have leapt out of airplanes, scaled mountains in Patagonia and flown high above the desert in a hot air balloon (we crash-landed that one!). Our family loves a good adventure.
We’ve also worked really, really hard to leave our mark on everything from the tiny special details of our lives at home to city skylines. When you look out your bedroom windows, like I did before you when I was a little girl, I hope you see potential and possibility and know that you can do anything you set your mind to if you dream big, work hard and never, ever give up.
Arabella, when I started my company and made it my mission to change the conversation around women and work, I thought of you. I considered the opportunities available to women in my generation, thanks to those who came before us, and I knew that I had a role to play in continuing to push the needle further. It didn’t mean that I had to follow the same rules; in fact, as you know, I’m a big believer in doing things differently. As you get older, understand that however you decide to work at your life, you have an important responsibility, too. Be brave, take risks and be true to yourself. Identify your passions and pursue them with all that is in you.
Joseph, you are a negotiator already with a smile that’s going to get you into trouble. I can’t wait to watch how your fearless spirit and giant heart lead you through this life. I see the best qualities of your father in you, already, in your even temperament, dogged persistence and tremendous warmth.
Theodore, you’re the newest addition to our family, but from the moment we met you, we knew you were exactly who we’d been waiting for. Your name was inspired by Theodore Roosevelt, the youngest president of the United States, an adventurer himself and a driving force for change. As I think about my dreams for you, little one, I hope you’ll never be complacent; I hope you’ll fight for what you believe in and you’ll stand firm in the face of adversity.
There will be lots of things I’ll teach you in the years to come—some you’ll remember, some you’ll dismiss. But I hope that in my leading by example, you’ll each make your own decisions and chart your own course. Take nothing for granted. Know that in life, the harder you work, the luckier you’ll get.
Of the adventures and the projects and the opportunities your father and I have encountered together, none compare to the three of you. I’m grateful for you daily and not a moment goes by that I forget how fortunate I am that you belong to me. I’ll love you always.
Ivanka Trump is a real estate executive, entrepreneur, wife and mother