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#29: Write a letter to my kids.  Below is part two of this list item.  I think I had an even harder time with this one than my letter to The Jakester.  I suppose that’s what comes from the relationship of a father and daughter.  My wife recently told me that I do my best writing when I write about what I love the most, my kids and family.  I hope, whenever Izzy finally reads this, that she’ll agree.  Enough prelude, here’s my letter to Iz.

Love at first sight

Dear Isabella,

It has taken me months to finally sit down and pen this letter to you.  During that time, I’ve tried to find the right combination of words worthy enough to describe what having you as my daughter means to me.  Even now, as I write this sentence, I remain unsure of what to say next.  How can a father possibly put into words what it’s like to have a daughter?  How can I begin to tell you how you’ve changed my life?  They say actions speak louder than words.  I hope that by the time you read this, my actions will have shouted these feelings loud and clear.  For now though, I’ll do my best to convey them here. 

There are moments in a person’s life that stand out as unforgettable.  The days that I met and married your mother are two of them for me.  The day you were born is another.  We chose not to find out ahead of time whether you were a boy or a girl, making the day of your birth all the more exciting.  When the doctor announced, “it’s a girl”, I was overcome with joy and from the moment you took your first breath, I was in love.  I had dreamed of being the father of a princess and just like that, I was.

It’s the job of a father to love and protect his children unconditionally, but it’s the job of a little girl’s father to do so while wrapped around her finger.  From day one, I embraced that job wholeheartedly, and plan to do so for the rest of my life.  There is a special bond that exists between father and daughter.  I saw it growing up between Poppy and Aunt Georgie and I see it still between Pop and Mommy.  On the day you were born, I was gifted that bond and I have cherished it everyday since. 

I remember the first time you smiled at me, your first words, and your first steps like they were yesterday.  I remember rocking you to sleep on nights when holding you was the only way to stop the tears.  Shortly after you were born I found myself out of work, and while I didn’t realize it at the time, those nine months I spent home with you were a blessing in disguise.  Often, parents will say that they wish they had spent more time with their children when they were young.  Today, I look back on those days with you and thank god for each and every one of them.

It’s hard for me to imagine that one day you will be grown, though for 2 1/2 years old, you certainly have an independent side already.  Your mother and I have just begun thinking about pre-school and yet I can’t help but think that before we know it, we’ll be looking at college.  It sounds silly just saying that, but if the next 16 years go as fast as your first couple, I’ll be moving you into a dorm in no time.  

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, there’s still so much youth left for you to explore.  There will be your first day of school, your very first sleepover, and the first time you realize there’s a boy you like.  This will be followed by my first heart attack and the first time I lock you in your room.  Don’t worry, I’m just kidding…sort of.  The truth is, you will grow up right before my eyes and I will rise and fall with your ups and downs.  From the moment you were born, my life became all about being your father and as you grow, I will grow with you.

I will be your teacher when life shows you something you’ve never seen.  I will be your rock when you need something strong to hold on to.  I will be your friend when you need to talk and your guide when you need direction.  I will do my best to play all these roles in your life, but most of all, I will always be your father.  I will be your father when you triumph and when you stumble.  I will be your father when you’re joy is immeasurable and your sadness seems never-ending.  And when the day comes that you take the hand of a man who loves you almost as much as me, I will do the duty of a father and walk you down that aisle.

No matter what life throws at you, remember that you can always count on my love and support.  You will always be my little princess, and as your King, I will love you forever.