Sunday, February 28, 2016

From Daddy to Daughters: True Confessions Part 1 of 3

I wasn't going to preface this letter, but I am having the most difficult time writing it and having it sound the way I want to. My intention was to write a love note to my daughter as a way to mark the celebration of her tenth birthday. Unintentionally, it manifested into a wild and scattered ramble. At least it felt like it. I was having most difficulty keeping it poised and at a decent length. Before I knew it, it wasn't a love letter anymore. Then I realized that it was becoming, despite the flawed writing, even more of a love letter.

It wasn't just to my oldest daughter, but rather transitioning into a both a guide and a confession for my three daughters. It was something that they could keep and read forever either while I'm trudging this earthly ground fighting to grow in grace or when I'm chatting it up with God on the top floor of the universe. The bottom line: it gives them a taste of who I am and most importantly how much I love them.

With that said, Sophie and Bailey, if for some reason I don't get around to writing a personalized love letter to you on your tenth birthday, know that I love all my daughters with a Godly equality and an unconditional love that cannot be adequately expressed. What I say to Madison (specifically in Part 3) is exactly how I feel about you. Without my daughters, I would not be a father of three. I can't imagine a more perfect blessing.

Let's begin with my true confessions.

Dear Madison,

This is love letter. Not a typical note that I occasionally write to you and your sisters, but it is a love letter. Something I wanted to write to you now that you have turned ten...and you should live every day like it's your last night on earth, so if you have something to say, say it.

As you read this, keep in mind this is not a letter for only when you are ten-years-old, but rather a letter for every birthday hereafter. Or whenever you need reminded of who I am and what I try so hard to be. A good daddy.

This love letter may get a little deep sometimes. Too deep for a child, but my writing is your inheritance - hopefully not all of it. It is what I’ll leave behind. Although my blog is welcome to anyone to read and hopefully be inspired, it serves a greater purpose. It is my journal to you and your sisters (I often wonder what it would be like to read a journal entry written by my dad the day I was born or after coaching me in Little League). It’s filled with fiction, but also filled with beliefs I’m passionate about. One of my passions is being a daddy to my three daughters. That passion began ten years ago when I held you for the first time. You looked pretty much like Rocky Balboa after his rematch with Apollo Creed, but somehow, in some amazing, grace-filled way, you were the most precious and beautiful thing I had ever seen. That beauty has not strayed or weakened, but has only magnified in the young woman I see growing right in front of me.

It goes without saying that I cannot believe that you have  turned ten. As much as I try to avoid cliches, it is difficult not to ask, "Where has the time gone?" These last ten years have been a whirlwind of events, emotional ups-and-downs and physical and spiritual growth. The one question that must be asked - and it's a question I ponder every day - and that's: "Have I done a good job?"

Even if the answer to that is a resounding positive one, it's not enough because "good" doesn't set me apart. It doesn't raise the bar. Is “good” good enough or does it simply makes me average? If there is no effort directed towards changing that status then it does not suffice. I must demand more of myself. Let’s assume that greatness is the pinnacle of ability, skill and performance. That being the case, there are certain things that I am not great at. We’ll call it being average. A level of mediocre ability and skill. For example, I enjoy tennis. I'm not great, but I'm fine with being average - as long as I beat Dustin. I'd rather be "great" at other things. What makes me average is the fact that I'm not proactive in changing that. Perfection is never achieved. But, striving for greatness or perfection is necessary to become better and hopefully good. 

Photography for instance is something I enjoy, but know nothing about. I have no natural eye as far as I can tell and I'm okay with not excelling in that particular field of expertise. Eventually, that will change. There are other avenues where I want to master and achieve the pinnacle of greatness. Being a father you adore is one of them.

End of Part One

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