Letters to My Daughter – Part 1

Dear Chanaiyah,

Happy birthday sweetie! That’s right, today is your day and no one else’s. Some people may think it’s their day too, but you and I know the truth: this day belongs to you. My my my, I can’t believe a year has gone by! So much has happened and even then it’s just the beginning. I swear it was only yesterday when I first held you. And I remember everything about that day. The sun stood high in the sky and the air was scorching. I started to sweat, but I was trembling. Nervous to see you, worried about what you’d think of me, yet all the more anxious. And when I cradled you in my arms, I collapsed inside. Oh how fragile you were and oh so precious. I remember you opened your eyes only slightly. Then, your cheeks bunched up together to form a bright smile. It’s as if you knew I was there with you. And it’s that very same smile that seems to make me stupid all over again. I try to find ways to describe that smile of yours, but every time I’m stuck. It’s like anything worth saying won’t do you any justice. Better to keep quiet and focus on your every movement. It’s not like you’d complain anyway since you like having all the attention. That’s right you do, you sweet little princess you.

I hope you’re not shy because I’m sharing this with the world. Now, I’m not doing this to gather attention or to gain sympathy. I could give a flying (tr)uck about what the world thinks. I just wanna let everyone in on the gift you’ve given me. But you are more than just a gift. You are a miracle. You came at a time in my life when I lost hope. I am referring of course to my relationship with your mother. We’re not together anymore and never will be. It sucks knowing that I can’t spend every day with you, that our time will be limited to a few days out of the week. I never wanted this. But sometimes life just happens and all we can do is go with it. I, however, was too selfish and immature to let things go. So for a while, I didn’t exist. I wandered through life a broken soul, waiting for something to happen. And on May 5th 2011, life did just that. Then came the day when I first met you. The pain, the sadness, the regret; all of it accumulated in one little tear. I felt it trace along my cheeks before fading away into reality. I was a new man. You reinvigorated my sense of purpose. You restored my faith in life. You gave me hope. Like I said, a miracle. I will never forget that day. After all, it was the day I became a father.

I won’t lie to you; the times ahead are gonna be tough. Along the way, you’ll find yourself stuck in a constant rotation between your mother and me. I can only imagine the sheer confusion you’ll have to go through, wondering why we aren’t together like how normal parents should be.  You have every right to feel that way. As much as I love being with my family, it hurts to see them. To see my aunties and uncles side by side with their husbands and wives. To see my cousins with their partners. To see all of them, happy with their children. It hurts because that was what I wanted. As you know, that’s not what happened. But it doesn’t mean we’re any different from them. It just means our time together will be all the more precious. You see, I never led a normal life. I got into a lot of trouble, which provided my parents with a lot of interesting days. Go ahead and ask Grandma and Grandpa, they will testify. I rebelled because life always expected me to follow a path that had already been laid out. I, however, preferred to find my own way. I don’t do normal. Besides, normal is boring. So who cares if I’m too young to be a parent. Who cares if we’re not the family unit that society expects us to be. The world can go fu(dge) itself. What matters is that I’m your father and you’re my daughter. We’ll have each other and that’ll be more than enough. And though we may not have the right ending to our story, yet, I’ll make damn sure that it’s a happy one. It’s a promise.

It’s weird writing to you now. It’ll be years before you read this. And if I do my job right as a parent, you won’t even touch a computer. Sorry, you don’t have a say in this. I just don’t want you to be a lazy (d)uck like me. I want you to go out there and live. Please I beg of you, don’t be like me. Anyway, I’m writing to you now because my words are all I have. It’s all I’ve got left in this world. It’s all I can do. I should be there with you, but I’m not. And for that I am truly sorry. I don’t expect you to forgive me. I just want you to know that I never forgot about you, that I kept you close. This right here is me spending time with you. Soon, you’ll see that we’ve always been together. And not just in these letters, but also through my voice. If you listen at night, you can hear my confessions to you. I tell you how much I miss you, when I’ll be able to see you again, and what we’ll do together as soon as I come back. Sometimes, I vent out all the bullsh(ark) I have to go through everyday. Not to worry, I keep it G-rated. Or at least I try. What I’m saying is that we’re together regardless of the distance between us. And I can hear you too. Mumbling those cute little syllables. Making such weird, random sounds. Keep doing it, even if mom or grandma can’t stand it any longer. It’s music to my ears. You don’t even have to say anything at all because I can see you now, smiling that adorable smile of yours. Trust me, it’s possible. You just have to believe.

What you’ve read is just one letter from a collection of letters to you. Every year, or within the year, I will write a series of posts dedicated to you.  Now, I haven’t decided if you’ll actually read this. Who knows how long this blog will last. No worries because I am writing actual letters to you. Real letters, with my awesome handwriting and not-so-awesome grammar. I don’t know, for some reason when I write with a pen, and especially when I’m writing to you, I’m all shaky and nervous. It’s like I’m meeting you again for the first time. Of course, I will be giving you these hand-written letters, regardless of the errors I make. You deserve the truest form of my writing, nothing less and nothing more. This, however, is me opening my life to the world, broken and all. With you I’m not ashamed anymore. I’ve got nothing to hide. Besides, by now you’re aware of all your legions of fans who are desperate to see you. All my family and friends, those close by and those far away, to name a few. So let’s give them a little peek shall we? Don’t be shy. Just keep smiling and I’ll keep writing. I love you sweetie. Happy birthday.

So very sincerely,



One thought on “Letters to My Daughter – Part 1

  1. Beautiful!!! I am writing letters to my daughter as well. 🙂 I had actually spent years while I was deployed writing letters in notebooks. I am home now, but she lives in another state with her dad and step-mom. I recently got the idea to begin writing them in a blog so that they can be organized in one place! Keep it up! She will love them when she is older!!

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