My dearest baby girl,
When it comes to the dad gene, your dad has it in spades. He’s just one of those guys who was born to be a dad. He loves it. He would rather spend time at home with me and you than do anything else. And one day you will realize how truly rare that is.
As I’m writing this, you are five months old and we are gearing up for the first Father’s Day (which you have already overshadowed because it is also the day of your dedication service at church, but your dad thinks this is the perfect way to celebrate his first year officially in the dad club).
You are already like your dad in so many ways. Some of them I love. You both have higher than average body temperatures (it must be nice to not need a sweater in July), you like to sleep with your hands behind your head, and you both think he’s the most hilarious person on the face of the earth. Some things I wish you hadn’t inherited from him. His love of country music and his dislike of Target for starters (both break my heart). And what is it with you wanting to watch CNBC all the time? Feels almost traitorous.
And then there are the things that I hope you get from him. Like his uncanny ability to pack the trunk Mary Poppins style when I can’t even fit half of the luggage in there. Or his killer calf muscles.
I hope you have his confidence. I hope you have his willingness to try new things without fear. I hope you have his ability to walk into any room and feel at ease, able to talk to any person about anything. I hope you have his work ethic and drive. I hope you have his worry-free approach to life. I hope you have his patience.
I hope you have his desire to know as much as you can about as many different topics as possible. I hope you have a variety of interests and hobbies and skills like him. I hope you have his ability to see the positive in situations, to handle obstacles with a clear head, to not let the unexpected fill you with dread. I hope you have his way of looking at the world as completely open to you.
There are things I want you to learn from him. Watch closely. Learn how to change a tire and put in hardwood floors and take care of things yourself (it’ll save you a lot of money when you realize the shape your first house is in too).
Learn how to make a person feel like the most important in the room just by your smile. Learn that you can have a successful career and still make family your first priority. Learn that it’s ok to be silly, even in public, and that what other people think really doesn’t matter.
Learn what a husband should really be. Watch him reach for my hand whenever we are out. Watch him kiss me as soon as he gets home and tell me he loves me randomly throughout the day. Watch him tell me I’m beautiful and offer to make dinner and let me sleep in and surprise me with small gifts and indulge my Target addiction. Remember these things when you make your choice.
I read the other day that the single most important relationship in determining the kind of person a woman will be is the one she has with her father. I spent that day really studying you two. The impromptu dance party he threw when you got really cranky, the funny faces and noises he made while changing your poopy diaper that ruined the fifth outfit of the day. The kisses he gave you as you two played on your activity mat, the dance he did to make you laugh when you were in your jumper. How excited he was to get you when you woke up from nap, and the smile that lit up your entire face when you saw him.
In other words, baby girl, you won the daddy lottery. And I hope you come to that realization on your own one day. I hope you see how much he adores you, and that you never stop adoring him. I want to tell you not to take him for granted, but you will, of course. It’s just a part of it. But one day, when you have a little one of your own, take a moment to stop and watch your baby interact with her dad. It will hit you then. How blessed you were. How much your dad influenced the woman you became. Call him and tell him. I know how much he loves to hear your voice.