Friday, November 30, 2012

A Daddy's Love Letter To His Daughter

Until I became a father in June of 2011, I never really thought too much about the passing of time. I have lived for thousands of days, and as I am a mere 41 years old as I write this it is reasonable to assume that I will live for many thousand more. Some always stand out as special, such as anniversaries, reunions, birthdays and holidays, but overall life was a long string of days passing as they would, and I never concerned myself too much with counting them. 

That all changed when my daughter, Riley Diane Ingram, was born just four days before my own birthday in late June. All of a sudden I had a daily reminder that time was passing, as each and every day I saw noticeable changes in my amazing little girl. Perhaps the fact that her birth coincided with the high school graduations of my two oldest nieces, with whom I have always been very close, but I suddenly became acutely aware of the passage of time. It was hard to believe that the two little girls whom I loved so much were no longer little girls at all, but young women going out into the world on their own. It was even harder to believe that my own little girl would one day do the same.

And so each passing day, each passing hour, really, has become an event. I take careful notice of every little change that occurs daily, knowing that these moments are the most precious of my life. I know that one day I will do as my sisters now do, and long for one more day of my daughter as a little girl. I try to keep that in mind as my business and responsibilities threaten my time with my girl, and I try to remember that nothing is as important as every single book I read to her, every tiny little tear I wipe from her cheek and every giggle I elicit by tickling her belly.

These are the things that matter, and they are in altogether too short a supply.

No matter what I do, one day it will happen. One day my precious little angel will walk out the door, move into her own space, walk down an aisle with someone she loves, take brave new steps into a world that is nowhere near as reliant on her Daddy as the one she currently occupies. And while those will all be joyous occasions to be celebrated, they will also be days that diminish my heart and my soul in some small way. For as happy as I will be to see her move out into the world and embrace her hopes and dreams, I will also long for these days, when the best thing is the world to her is sitting in her Daddy's lap and reading a storybook or watching Sesame Street.

In the past, my past before Riley, many days were not particularly special. Many came and went without particular notice, just another spot on the calendar to be reached and passed en route to another such day. But now every day is an event, something to be treasured above all other treasures. Each day is an opportunity to see my amazing little girl grow up a little bit more, maybe learn a new word or discover something new in the world. Try as I might, I can't squeeze any more days of Riley's childhood into her life or mine, but I can pledge to do everything in my power to make each day as special and as meaningful as possible for this budding new life.

I hereby make that pledge.


Post a Comment


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More