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My Dearest Irena,

This is what your daddy does every morning.  I sit here, somewhat deep in thought, with a warm cup of coffee in my hand, and I think of things to write about.

Today, I am thinking of you, and want to take this opportunity to tell you a few things.  Things you won’t understand, mostly because you cannot read or write. 

I love you.

Let me wish you the happiest 6th birthday, a little girl could ever dream of.  I am glad that life has given me the opportunity to spend so much time with you, and your older brother. 

Every afternoon seems glorious, and the summers are simply magical.

You are an exceptional young lady and you make it easy to be your daddy.  I still consider myself in transition, and need to pick up a few things; like how to do your hair up in a pony-tail, how to keep my mind from going numb playing dollies, and how to help you remain a smart and joyful young woman.

I don’t really have to teach much about joy and courage.  You already have it, and share it openly with everyone.  I just need to keep you from ever doubting who you are, when other people try to tell you otherwise.

Today is Father’s Day.

I prefer it this way.  I like it better when I have a chance to give rather than receive.  I prefer Father’s Day to be about you, rather than about me.

I enjoy watching you grow up.  I love quietly marveling how your big heart has room for everyone and everything, and how marvellously you smile, dance, and sing.

But as you grow I will need to create a little distance, and let you go. 

Not yet.  I still have lots of time to play.

But I don’t want you to be dependent on me, or on any other man, for that matter. 

I am not going away and I plan to be here for as long as God is willing, but I know that any lack in character, independence, strength, joy, or meaning, leads to a very tragic existence.  You have everything you need to make a happy life.

I don’t want the joy in your eyes and the compassion for all living things in your heart, to ever be discouraged or hidden.  Yes, there will be storms and battles.  There will be hurricanes and gossip.  I promise I will be there with you, to make sure, you keep that little light burning.

The world needs some light.  It gets very lonely and dark out there sometimes.

I won’t ever tell you want to do, but I will be your strength and push you where you want to go.

I promise to listen and give guidance, but I will not solve your problems for you.

I will always love you and let many things go, but I will never let you say that you can’t, you’re not smart, you’re tired, you’re busy, it’s not you, or that you’re bored.   

You remind me so much of my mother, who shares her name with you. 

She was a quiet, strong, and a beautiful woman, who I miss dearly and daily.  She is the woman whose spirit, in part, you embody, and whose eyes we both share.

Don’t change, little girl.  Not now, not ever.

Grow.  Learn.  Follow your heart, but don’t ever change.

Don’t trade the very best of you, for a few moments of acceptance from people who don’t matter much anyhow.

Dance.

Sing.

Continue to love every creature, large and small.

I love you, dearest Irena.

Happy Birthday to you.

Happy Father’s Day to me.

Love,

Daddy.

 

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