A while back I wrote a sort of Slam Poem entitled, “A Letter to my Little Man” – A few people enjoyed it and said I should write another but this time to my future daughter. So here that is.
You terrify me. You make your every waking second a nightmare and your every sleeping second a warm embrace in paradise. Holding you in my arms is a miracle and watching you walk and talk is a 50/50 shot between elation and immeasurable heartache. One day you won’t be this way anymore. You’ll always be mine but you’ll never be all mine again. The thought of sharing you with this word violently shakes me to the core but not because I don’t think you’re not ready for this world…no….this world isn’t ready for you. My little girl. My little lady. My daughter.
First off let’s get something straight little lady, boys are filthy war mongering savages whose only place on this earth is to ruin others with their foulness. I know. I am one. This might not make sense now, but when you’re older just know, the moment you bring a significant other into our home I will harass and embarrass to my utmost ability. I’ve earned it. You will be angry and possibly call me an “old fogey” or whatever weird slang future teens use then – but it’s happening either way. So deal with it.
This life will hurt you. This world will beat you to a pulp and then hit you once more for good measure. For every good experience you have you’ll have two bad ones and some moments will feel like a nonstop storm above your head washing your hopes and dreams away. This world prepares for failures to fail – it does not prepare for people like you. People who won’t tap out. People who won’t throw in that white towel no matter how red it is when it hits the ground. Some say life is a fight and you’re in it to win it – that’s not true. Life is a fight and you’re in it to survive. Winners leave the ring little lady. Survivors keep fighting. That’s what you will be.
On a side note: If someone ever tells you to “make them a sandwich” you are 100% allowed to sock them in the face. Hard. Like, knock them the fuck out. I will bail you out of jail no questions asked, put my arm around your shoulder, and walk you to the car with a canyon of a smile.
I call you my little lady to keep you to myself. My life will be a constant battle between letting you share your wealth with the world and holding you closer to my chest until you have to push me away yourself. I don’t want to suffocate – I’m just afraid. Afraid that if I let go you will never yoyo back. Afraid that once you taste fresh air you’ll never want to breathe the stagnation surrounding dear old dad. Afraid that I tried my very very best to raise a little girl who didn’t just take the world by storm – no, she rode that storm until it’s bitter end and then immediately looked for the next set of dark clouds to conquer, and that the last storm you’ll want to see is that one cloud hanging over me; from missing you.
Fathers are supposed to give advice I hear…so here goes. Remember that Daddy looks strong but Mom will always be stronger. Remember that counting your lucky stars is a waste of time – it’s always better to notice the space between the stars so you always have some sky to fill. Remember that with your arms open wide you can touch the rising tide but with your eyes open wide you can see the entire ocean. Remember that for every moment of clarity will come the cynic who says it didn’t matter in the scheme of things – that every person is but a speck of dust and every moment is an even smaller speck and every word or shaky metaphor we utter is even smaller yet….but you tell them, every shaky metaphor comes from solid ground and every word comes from heated breathe and every moment comes from an endless pool of love and devotion that we have dedicated to each other and every person who claims to be a speck will spend their time in the wind while you, with your little speck arms, will always reach out to hold on, even for a tiny speck of time. And if that moment does not come, you tried, as I did to raise a daughter so generous and kind and as willing to teach as she is to learn – which is not all that matters, but it’s all that matters to me.
My greatest achievement will be laying the map of life in front of you, pointing to the edges of that map and saying “these are only suggestions and this map can always grow by your side. Go easy on them little lady – this world was never ready for you, but if we did this right, that’s the way you’ll always prefer it.”
Love and LTFT,