To My Daughters About Whom I’m Writing Again,
At some point you’re going to be exploring the internet on your own and you’re going to come across some stuff I wrote. You will, first and foremost I’m sure, be impressed and proud. Dad can write!
Then you will think to yourself, “Oh, he really was working all those days he spent at home when we were in school.” And then you’re going to think to yourself, “Wait a second. These essays are all about us. I didn’t sign off on that.”
Allow me to explain myself.
You are my world. This sounds a little cliché, but the three of you are my world. My best writing comes from writing about what I know. And what I know best is you. A decade ago all I wrote about was baseball and football. That was pretty much all I knew then. I don’t know as much about those things anymore. I’m not complaining (well, maybe just a little), but you’ve been a happy distraction from my old passions.
Also, if I’m writing honestly about myself, I’m writing honestly about you. That’s just the way it is, because it’s how much you mean to me.
I’m a parent because of you. A lot of my writing deals with my experiences as a parent, and I can’t write about my experiences as a parent without writing about my children.
You’re the only reason I know anything about parenting, and why I need to know all the things about parenting that I don’t yet know. (Are you teenagers yet? How’s that going? What’s that? No, I meant for me. How’s that going for me?)
I write and share so much about our lives because I hope that the readers have similar experiences and can relate or learn from us. Think of the service you’ve provided over the years through my words!
You provide good material. Listen: sometimes you do things that drive me nuts. Writing can be therapeutic for me, and the fact that other people want to read it, well that’s just gravy. But on the other hand, sometimes you do things that make me so darn proud that I just want to shout about it to the world. Or you do things that are just too cute to keep to myself. And, like I said before, your material is my material. If you did something on vacation, well, that’s our vacation story. Our experiences are pretty much one and the same at this point in our lives.
I was touched the day you said you looked forward to baseball season. The fact that something that means so much to me means something to you – I had to write about it.
I learned so much about myself as a parent helping you to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels that I had to share what we went through, hoping that our experiences, both as teacher and as student, would help other parents going through the same thing.
And I’m sorry I told the world about our shared fear of Santa Claus, but I think I came out of that one looking a little bit sillier than any of you.
I hope someday you’ll read all of these stories and realize they come from a place of love. Well, that, and the fact that someone has to pay for the groceries. But mostly love. Thanks for understanding. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to write a similar letter to your mother.
It’s perhaps the most magical, exciting, and terrifying time of your life. You’re bringing a new baby into your home. That means providing the happiest, healthiest, and safest environment for your little one to grow up in.