Published January 13, 2015
In the midst of horrifying events like the massacre at VA Tech University, personal struggles and dreams and miracles go on in our daily lives.
After the show, while I was still trying to process what had happened and how it was affecting me, my daughter called me. She asked if it was ok if she got her ears pierced. “Mommy says it’s ok with her if it’s ok with you, Daddy. But if you say no, I’ll understand.”
I think I would have started weeping right there and then if the day’s news events hadn’t already taken my last tear. Here was my little girl, now 8 years old, asking if she could pierce her ears. I told her I would have to think about it. She was so excited she squealed when I called her back and told her it was ok. My precious little girl was becoming, slowly but inevitably, a young lady.
I would like to share the following with you. It’s something I wrote for my website long before blogs became so commonplace. I wrote it when my daughter was not yet two years old. They are personal thoughts that I do not mind sharing with my listeners again. Take it as a reminder of how precious our children and loved ones are, and how diabolically fast the hours can pass.
You've changed so much in your first 18 months of life. It sounds like a cliché, but it was just yesterday that we brought you home. It was just yesterday that you were bald and tiny and frail in daddy's arms. I had to carry a burp rag everywhere.
Now, every time I look at you in the rearview mirror, you seem to change on me. You smile, play peak-a-boo, thumb through your story books, and say words so well. Apple. Dog. Juice. Milky milky. Daddeeeeee. I love it when you say that. I melt. You've been saying "Da!" for some time now. But just this past week, you called me for the first time. I mean, really called me. "Daddeeeeee! Daddeeeeee!" You wanted to show me your Winnie The Pooh book. And I dropped everything and read it to you.
I don't want to have any regrets. I want so badly to do everything right for you. There will not come a day when I will lament the fact that I wasn't there for you, ok? I made sure I was there to catch your first words, your first steps, and your first laugh. That's what daddy's are for. People may think I am crazy for taking so many pictures and video of your every action. But that's ok. I don't want to miss a thing.
So I kiss you a million times a day. And you plant pecks on me in return and blow kisses at us in that adorable little way of yours. I get on the floor and wrestle with you and give you the sillies (now it's finally fair since you can give Daddy the sillies in return!). I push you on the swing until you almost reach the sky. And sometimes we just lie down and laugh until we have tears rolling down our eyes.
Sometimes I get choked up with tears just watching you play. You don't know that I'm watching you grow up right in front of me. I see you going through school and finding a career and a husband and moving out of the house and out of our lives. And I think how sad the day will be when I can't reach over anytime I want and steal a great big hug from my little angel. When I won't be able to stand by your crib at two in the morning just to watch you snuggle with Bear. I hope it never comes, but there may come a day when you won't want me around. When everything I do will embarrass you. At times like this I see the world though my own parents' eyes, and know a little of what they must have felt seeing me grow up.
So I will sap the life out of every waking moment with you. I will stretch them the best that I can so that time will last as long as I can make it last. That way when I am old and tired and homesick for the old days, I will know that I cherished every second with you.
The saddest part is that you will not remember these happy days and first years.
That is why I write this for you. I love you baby girl.
Always remember just how much you mean to me. Rest assured that even when I am old and senile and have forgotten everything else, I could never forget this love I have for you, my little angel.
Love Always, Your Daddy
(Father’s Day 2000)
Thanks for letting me share that with you. It gives me hope, amid the carnage and the chaos of the news, that you are feeling a little bit warmer inside you, knowing you have stories just like mine.
The best we can do is pray and hope and focus on a brighter future for us and our children.
As for you my little angel, I love you more today than ever. May our country’s brightest days lie ahead for you and the generations that will follow you into tomorrow.