Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Message in a bottle for my daughter...

J Bean,

If I could choose the delivery date for this one to reach you, it would probably be around 10 years from now (you are 4 and a very important half right now). I know you've taken an interest in other people that feels different than anything you've ever experienced before as of late. I know you are feeling a great upheaval in emotions and physical changes. Hopefully, your mother or I or both of us have discussed this with you in many awkward conversations by now... if not, go ask me about that right away and kick me in the shin for being late (as usual). Anyway, this isn't one of "those" talks in written form; this is just a reminder about what I hope for you, how I love you and how special you are.

I hope you realize already that you are beautiful, but I hope even more that you realize that has little to do with those dazzling blue eyes and cute smile. Your beauty is inside and at 4 it is amazing to see every day. It's like watching a butterfly emerge from a cocoon in timelapse. Everyday that has preceded this one has revealed a new facet of your personality, your humor, your kindness and your capacity for love (as I write this, you are nuzzled up on my side watching Sid the Science Kid). I hope I didn't "write" too much when you wanted a playmate, but I hope I wrote enough for you to realize that even in the face of the most wonderful companion a person could have (like you) that we all need a little time to ourselves and a hobby that doesn't necessarily include those we love (my hobby happens to be writing about you and your brother, but that's beside the point).

I hope you never mistake popularity for happiness. If you start thinking that way then just pick up a book view an E-book in your heads up display and read about the most famous person you can think of. You will find they have their own problems (and often, worse ones). Neither money nor popularity can buy fulfillment.

You are probably well into the "My Dad is sooo embarrassing and such a huge dork" phase by now and I'm not sure how well I'll take it, honestly. Hopefully, I'll do OK because I've learned through many lessons not to judge myself by what others think (even you). Just know this, no matter what type of disagreements we have, no matter how many times I yell at you (or vice versa) that I will still hold overwhelming love, awe and a desire to protect you in my heart. If we aren't getting along (and I hope we are), let's try not to burn the bridge (it's indestructible anyway... totally a waste of time) and I guarantee you that we'll both come back around to "friends" again. Time has a way of doing that. Even as I write this I'm more than twice the age you are, but still young enough to remember the topsy-turvy teen years. I hope I'm not harshing your mellow too much or whatever you guys say these days with language like "topsy turvy." I'm actually interested to know if people in 2023 still talk or if everything is just beamed into our retinal computer display. Are you even paying attention to what you read here or are you playing Candy Crush while you read this? If so, cut it out! This next bit is important.

Keep your head up, this world is right where you want it and your life is totally moldable to your desires. Make a plan (I know, it's against my nature too) and focus on your goals then go for them! When the darkest days are upon you, when some other person has made you feel 2 inches tall or ripped your heart out please just reach out to me (or someone, if it can't be me). Troubles will pass and the crises of today will become the faint memories of tomorrow, I pinky swear. Live in the now, but don't forget about tomorrow because you'll enjoy those future "nows" a lot more if you play it smart in this one.

I said all that to say this... By now you are feeling "love" for other people in the way only a teen can. Loud, blinding, overwhelming, shockingly fierce love is the kind we feel at your age. Yep, you're not the first one and certainly won't be the last though it will definitely feel that way. Whoever you have decided to spend your time with and give your best too should be someone who appreciates what you bring to the table. I've hit on some of those things, but many of my now favorite things about you probably haven't even revealed themselves to me at the time I wrote this (remember that whole beautiful transformation business I eluded to earlier?). If you want to know what those things are then go ask me when you're done with this. If life (or death) has conspired to prevent your ability to do that, then ask your Mom or yourself... afterall my favorite things about you are your favorite things about you. You are amazing and if you decide you want a person to share your amazing life with then you need to make sure that you are always free to be yourself around them. Your Self is spectacular and the love of your life will recognize that from the start and forever. Love and respect yourself and find someone (if you are so inclined) who does the same for themselves and for you. The rest will fall into place.

Lastly, sorry about those times I was a jerk. I mean well, but I don't always deliver. I hope I'm better when I'm older. I'm still trying... you help.

Love Always and Forever,

P.S. You're going to learn how to drive soon; even if you don't have a wreck, I will be one. Please don't keep me waiting for a promised phone call, text message or retinal thought beam, I don't need that kind of stress. Also, tell the person you love (or will love) what I said. If they don't respect you then I will be angry, and they won't like me when I'm angry.