To the father of my future daughter, I know I may not have met you yet, or maybe our love has just started out and we’re still learning the winding pathways of each other’s souls, but I have to ask of you just a few things.
I need you to know of all the things I dream of for you and her. For all of us.
I guess if we’ve reached this stage you know the relationship I have with my own father, or lack thereof. He was the ghost walking alongside me on my wedding day. He was the shadow in the corner of my eye as I shared my ‘father-daughter dance’ with somebody else.
He was the hope I always had, the promise never fulfilled, a shell of a person I craved.
He’s a dream I never gave up on. And I still can’t.
So ask of you, my wonderful man, please be her hero. Please have dinner parties with her and her teddies, drink from little saucers wearing a crown and chase her round the garden as any fairytale creature she asks you to be. Hold her close at night and read her favorite bed-time story as she clutches your t-shirt, yes five more times.
Please take her on daddy-daughter outings to wonderful, magical places. Please push her imagination as far as it can possibly go and kiss her freckled nose when she makes you proud.
Oh honey, I ask you, please wipe the tears from her beautiful face when she cries, and let her know that she deserves the best kind of man.
She deserves someone just like you.
Give her the world and nothing less. Ask her about her crazy adventures when she’s at college. Take her for pizza when she smashes that term paper and surprise her when she’s struggling.
And if we don’t make it, you and me, please promise me you’ll still be there for her.
Show her that men don’t walk away, they come back. They stick around. They make it work. Please don’t let our broken marriage make her feel alone and unloved. I beg you.
Do not let yourself become a stranger and force awkward conversations over cheap coffee where you only talk of yourself. Because that little girl who used to tell you her deepest secrets is a stranger to you now. Don’t make her feel like a burden or an obligation. Don’t make her question what she can tell you because she doesn’t know where the boundaries are anymore.
I ask this of you because every time I see a father and daughter at the theatre or just laughing together eating ice cream, I ache. My entire body aches and I can feel my heart yearning.
I get lost up in it, their love.
I feel myself breaking whenever I see a father showing love for his daughter in the simplest of ways because I will never know what it is to have a father, a dad. Someone whose eyes are soft and gentle. Whose words are full of love and wisdom.
And I will never stop wanting that.
There will never not be a part of me that feels as if I have missed out on something special.
I will always be a little bit empty. A dad shaped hole will forever be carved into my heart.
So please, I ask you, be all of those things for her. Let the sun rise and set with her. Fall in love with her the first time you hold her in your arms.
And never, ever, let go.