My Dearest Kate,
My heart is full of you today. Your third birthday was on Sunday, we had a bounce house, and a lot of cookies and hot dogs and friends and smiles and laughs. After everyone left I went in the bounce house with you and your sister, and Mark came in and jumped, and he chased you and you ran into my legs yelling, “Daddy, Daddy!” and I caught you up, and kept you close, safe from the pretend menace.
I love you, and I don’t want to hold anything back from you, but I’m afraid there are some things you’re too young to understand, and perhaps there are some things I shouldn’t ever tell you. Our time together is precious, and I want you to know that I will never let anything come between us, I’ll never stop fighting for time with you.
This year I’ve seen you grow from a girl with huge blue eyes, eyes that could drink in the entire sky, eyes that were full of questions you didn’t know how to ask, into a girl who never stops talking. You sing, nonsensical, beautiful, ridiculous songs about anything or nothing. You supplement made up words when you can’t find the right rhyme. You bring me so much joy.
You ask a lot of questions, and you’re beginning to understand even the things I haven’t explained. The other night, you called me into your room for what felt like the hundredth time and said you had to use the restroom. I wasn’t amused, I was sure you were just stalling, but I picked you up out of bed to carry you to the bathroom. Halfway there you said, in a lighthearted voice, as if having just realized something that amused you, “Daddy, you’re cranky!”
I couldn’t hold the laugh in.
“You’re right, I am cranky. I love you. Lets go potty.” I said, and you did, and maybe I was wrong anyway. Maybe I’m mostly wrong. But I’m not wrong about this: I want to go everywhere with you. My life is sweeter when your hand is holding mine, and when your songs are in my ears.
You are a part of me. As much a part as your sister. As much a part as I am myself. Even when I’m away from you, which is a thing that is troubling me deeply just now, even when I’m away from you I carry you with me. There isn’t a moment that you aren’t in my thoughts. There isn’t a beat of my heart that doesn’t echo your name in waves through my veins, through my muscle and bone and sinew.
You are troublesome. You don’t care when I say “no”, you’re indifferent when I scold you, you’re stubborn and determined and I love and admire those parts of you, even when they are at odds with my own aims. I can’t wait to see the woman that you are becoming. I can wait, because I never want you to change from who you are right this moment, and I can’t wait, because seeing you grow into you is the most beautiful thing.
I love you,