When she's 20, Daddy's letter will be special
We received this letter from a stay-at-home dad, James Orr, who wanted his daughter, born on July 2, to know how much he loves her. Whoa Momma thinks you can never have too many of these heartfelt missives in your lives. So we're featuring it here. -- The eds.
Just wanted to write and say Happy Happy Happy 2nd birthday! You’re asleep right now, and I just finished blowing up some balloons and putting up your birthday banner for your early morning birthday surprise, and I can’t believe how fast the last 2 years have gone by! In life you’ll meet people who will say the same exact thing and until you have a family and little boy or girl of your own you won’t truly understand …
I mean it was just yesterday your mommy and me went into the night to the hospital (twice!) and waited 10 hours in labor … Yet enough of that, as this is a day of celebration of the last year -- one made up of you walking all by yourself-grabbing and holding onto starter spoons, sippie cups and pink satin bunnies named “Baboo!” And don’t forget your teething -- the horrible pain that your teeth caused you (and even mommy who fixes teeth for a living could only watch as you cried every day in agony); it truly did break our hearts each time we wiped away your tears from your puffy red-swollen checks …
Yet then something miraculous happened right before today, your 2nd birthday. You started to really tune into what I have been talking with you about and started to understand and answer me back in conversation. You even started to repeat new phrases just to answer me back and converse like you see others do every day! Just a few hours ago, you relaxed for our weekly trip to the supermarket and enjoyed your cookie and waved (and flirted) with the other customers like some sort of supermodel who knows she has what it takes and is not afraid to flaunt it (blowing kisses at everyone!!!)
With each passing day you are getting more and more unique, and I can see so much of both Mommy and me inside you. You have a determination to do so much on your own, and are still easily frustrated that you can’t just yet -- but I’ll be waiting to help guide you along with each passing day. I don’t think I can ever love another person as much as I love you right now, and I really don’t know how to love you any more as my heart is already bursting with just the thought of you waking up in a few hours, and seeing your face beaming up at the balloons, Mommy and me teasing you about your cake and presents after you start your first day at your new day care school. And on your birthday no less, as a special treat, because every time I tell you about going to school your face lights up and you start to dance like a toddler whose feet and legs are on fire!
In your 1st year on this earth we took thousands of pictures, and during your 2nd we spent the year chasing you around the house! We moved everything you could put in your mouth or tear up as high and out of the way as we could. We also moved our home 500 miles away from St. Petersburg to Santa Rosa Beach and bought our dentist office. All of us -- Mommy, you and me -- have been through a lot with all of your special changes and your ever-growing independence, and have all learned from one another. Mommy loves you very, very much and with every breath on her lips speaks about how to protect you, keep you safe, help you learn, and keep you warm(even in the Florida summer)! She asked me to quit my job to stay at home with you until we bought the practice and I was needed to help work, which was just in time for you to be with other kids socializing, helping the teachers, and having a full day’s activities in and out of the classroom. We picked the best school for you, and know in our hearts that you can now soar and learn on your own pace with gifted teachers.
Every day I sing to you, play with my guitar and drum, and harmonica, and tambourine, and anything else I can get my hands on and make a sound. You just love to play along! You especially like the drums, and dance and twirl until you almost fall over with joy. You also love my jazz, blues, rock, though I still am waiting to play you the louder things with more melodies and quicker tempos later on in a few years. I do so love my music collection! Right now you have been getting a steady dose of Van Morrison from your car seat most days we go out on the road!
Well, right now my eyes are starting to droop, so I must be on my way. I also don’t want to wake you up right now with my typing, as this is a big, big day for you and I want you to get your rest. I am so very, very glad you chose me to be your father, and couldn’t be prouder of the little girl you are turning into. You truly are my baby and Daddy’s little girl forever!
I Love You With All My Heart,