Saturday, May 26, 2012

a future letter to my daughter explaining why I wept at her wedding

photo: Raj Lulla Photography

Dear [Future] Charlotte,

If you are reading this letter, it is because I bawled and blubbered at your wedding, and I would like to explain why.

Right now, you are almost four months old.  A little over three and a half months ago, you and I spent the first hour of your life together in the nursery at the hospital.  They whisked you away because you had a little fluid on your lungs and were not crying very much.  The fluid cleared up, but you wouldn't give in on the crying, even after they gave you a bath.  Stubborn, quiet, and crazy black hair sticking up all over your head, you were definitely my daughter.

We brought you home, and even though everyone said that your calmness would not last, it has.  You are sweet, smiley, affectionate, and rarely fussy.

By the time that you are reading this, you will know that I hate cliches, and I avoid them whenever possible.  More than once have I rolled my eyes once the father of the bride took the microphone and explained that in his eyes the bride was still his four-year-old little girl.  Well, now I understand, and while I am still not one for histrionics, I probably just gave a speech that sounded like that to everyone else.

So why did I weep?

For the past nearly four months, I have checked on you in the middle of the night, especially if you got fussy after your mom went to bed.  When I go in to put your pacifier back in, you wrestle me a little bit because you like to suck your thumb (adorably), but I know that it won't keep you asleep.  After I finally win, and I always do, you grab my thumb with one of your hands and my pinkie with the other as though you are trying to steer me like a car.

Everything you do, from the way you smile at me and babble when I come home from work to the way you rest your hand on my chest when I rock you to sleep, connects with my deepest nature as a man to protect, grow, serve, and lead.  When I hold you, your tiny fist grabs my t-shirt so tightly that you don't let go even after you fall asleep, reminding me that I am needed in your little world.

We have prayed every night since you were born for the man that you will marry, and I assume that you found him.  As your dad, this is bittersweet.  I can no longer be your protector (unless he slips up and I need to end him, of course), and I am glad for that but also sad.  You have never existed in this world apart from our family and never lived except in our home.

I hope the adage is true that a father never loses a daughter but instead gains a son, and I hope his family doesn't mind when we steal the two of you away as often as possible.

I love you.  Congratulations!


1 comment:

  1. Silly husband. She is never leaving. We can just build on to our home and they can live with us. :)


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