A Message to Our Daughter

Random Observation/Comment #588: I believe in love at first sight.

I wrote our daughter a letter:

Dearest Evie,

You probably won’t be able to read this until 5 years later, and you probably won’t understand the depth of these words until 10 years after that, but when you figure it out, send me a postcard (if they still exist).  When you’re far older inventing your own philosophies around parenthood and writing sociology books (if that’s your cup of tea), don’t hold me to these words because I’ll probably just say that I wrote this when I was young and naïve.

It is such a beautiful thing how one person can cause so much happiness. When you realize how small we all are in this world, you’ll find that there are very few moments where you can make everyone around you beam with the same level of happiness as you have today.  Yes, there will be moments where you make your family proud; from saying your first words to winning your first trophy.  And, yes, there will be moments where you tell a funny joke at a party and everyone in the room laughs and gives you high-fives.  And, yes, there will be moments where your decision will affect more than your smaller community of family and friends. However, today is different – today, you didn’t even need to do anything.  Without even a conscious effort, you are the gift.  Remember that this will always be true. We will always love you (even if it’s tough love).

As you grow up, you’ll learn that the only constant is change.  The absolutely most important thing we hope to teach you are the tools to cope with this change.  If you are a car, our job is to help you weld the foundation and build the engine before adding the wheels, chairs, doors, or paint-job.  The chassis are the morals and the engine is the thought process that will make you consider a wider view of effects before making decisions.  Everything else, we hope you’ll try out different things and see what fits your personality (please stay away from Goth).

We want you to dream, have a humble preference, and find your true passion.  It is our job to hide you from the worries of money and many cruelties of the world, but it is also our job to prepare you for a dangerous reality.

I’m not going to B.S. you with some huge expectations of how you’re going to be the next CEO of a large corporation or millionaire sports star.  That would be way too much pressure anyway.  The truth is that the most fulfilled life is not one with the most money or possessions (although, they probably won’t complain as much).  It’s really about playing the smartest game with the cards you’re dealt.  It’s about seeing that there may be cards, rules, and other players, but the game doesn’t even matter.  I’m sure I could add more to this analogy, but I’ll let you figure it out.

Life is short and rather meaningless unless you genuinely put some meaning into it.  This may not be the meaning of life, but if you can do all of these things, you would have led a great life:

  1. Find something you love to do and do it.
  2. Find someone you love and love them with all your heart.
  3. Be healthy and live long enough to live out your dreams (even if those dreams change half way through your life).
  4. Be happy every step of the way.
  5. Give back to this world what you’ve learned from it.

I promise that I didn’t get these from a bunch of fortune cookies.

Love,
Dad


While she’ll love the message, I hope she understands the journey and the unknown. It’s a new chapter and a new way of viewing the world for your Mom and Dad. I am only 30 years wiser and living a different phase of my life that I hope you’ll experience with the same excitement and curiosity. I don’t know what retirement will be like or if blockchain will still be around, but I do know that a lot has changed after holding you.

Your mother will tell you that I didn’t even write vows for her, but rather a list of 10 (where two were about table tennis). It’s only appropriate that I write one for you:

  • I promise to create a loving and safe environment at home
  • I promise to keep our temper in check
  • I promise to be a voice of reason and guidance for all the hard decisions in your life
  • I promise you’re never too old to be Daddy’s little girl
  • I promise to be embarrassing and cheesy 80% of the time until you need me to drop the hammer and kick some butt
  • If I see “self” as the family, then I promise to be selfish to protect our best interests
  • I promise to teach by example and live an honorable life
  • I promise to show you how to earn the koalafications
  • I promise to always love you, even if you date a guy I don’t approve of or don’t get an A+ in math

~See Lemons Love Evie

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