part 2 of 2 - a letter to my daughter
by, 08-23-2009 at 08:15 AM (4749 Views)
and for the rest of it...
At this point, you are responsible for everything that will go on in your life. Yeah, sure, Mom and Dad might have requests that you be in by a certain time when you stay with us, and might ask for you to take care of a few things here and there, but it’s your life. I can only hope that it will be long and prosperous. Prosperity is an interesting word that can mean lots of different things to people, but I gage its meaning thus: I have a nice place to live, a wonderful woman to whom I am married (that I sometimes do not deserve), two intriguing and yet maddening kids, some truly interesting friends, a mostly interesting line of work, hobbies that I can enjoy, I pretty much have what I need, and I have enough money to not feel like I can never do anything. Overall and by that gage, I’m a pretty lucky guy, and prosperous! I hope you can be satisfied with that kind of prosperity – it isn’t about all the things one owns or has. I drive a 10-year-old car, but I could have a newer, nicer one – but I don’t really need it. I could have a vacation to somewhere exotic every year, but I don’t really need it. Having what I need, but not everything I want is critical for me. If I had everything I wanted, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be a very nice person. Don’t want everything, Deena – and I hope like hell you don’t get everything you want, because then you don't have to set goals for the things you truly need to feel like you are successful.
Remember the last time you went with me to Take Your Child to Work Day? One of the comments you made afterwards struck me as an interesting observation. You said something to the effect that, “Dad, you know everybody!” That is true, but the inverse is also true: everyone knows me. I have a lot of friends and acquaintances at work, people who respect me, people who see me as their friend, people who will not/do not see me in a bad light. I am pretty well respected as a former submariner, an engineer, a Program Manager, and a co-worker. I see these people more on a weekly basis than my family! I keep my sense of humor about me at all times at work, no matter how bad it gets. Did you see the opposite of that? I’ll bet you did, and only caught glimpses of the person my co-workers see all the time. These people see me 40 hours plus a week. They know part of me better than you ever will – but there are parts of me only you and your sister will know…
Do you ever see yourself through my eyes? I wonder sometimes if you do. I see a beautiful young woman, sure of herself to the point of over-confidence at times, but mostly willing to make up for her mistakes. I think you are a good person, and I know you are pretty much consigned to doing the right thing always. I know you sometimes have a natural curiosity about things that are of interest to you. Don’t ever lose that, Deena; however, if you take the time to expand it to everything around you, it will serve you well in the future. It is important to be curious about everything around you, and notice and study those things, until you DO comprehend everything you need to know about whatever it is. It could be science and math, it could be the car you drive, it could be the guy who piques your interest, or it could ultimately be whatever ends up being your career choice. Understanding your surroundings is key, no matter where you are or where you go. Just like understanding what line you need to ski on a given slope is critical at times to keeping your skis under you, the same can be held true for work or whatever. Pick the line and go for it!
I know there have been times when it is impossible to believe that I love you. Whether you believe that or not, it always holds true – every day, every hour, every minute. I am also quite proud of what you have accomplished, especially your last year in highschool. With respect to highschool, my only regret is that you didn’t buckle down sooner. You could have done so much better than you did the other three years, and now you know it – you took some pretty tough courses as a senior and did very well! Remember when you were playing soccer, and I volunteered to coach? Remember that I gave you the choice of being on my team or another team, and you chose mine? I was pleased as punch that you wanted to be with your dad. Remember the first time you went skiing at Okemo, and we had to quit for the day when Daria didn’t want to ski? I was as pleased as I could possibly be that you took to it so readily. Remember King’s Island and the roller coasters there? That was MY daughter riding with me, scared at first as we went up the first hill, but thrilled beyond all belief as we went through barrel loops and rolls, asking to get back on the ride as soon as it was done, as well as taking an extremely rough ride on The Beast (and other coasters over the years). Remember visiting Washington, DC for the first time, traipsing up and down the Mall over Easter break, the temperature damned near 100°, and yet we walked all the way down and back up the Mall? That you guys did that to see all the sights there made me as proud as I possibly could be. How about when you started marching band, just tried it out for the couple of weeks in August before school started, and then stuck with it? And then winning the CT State championship during your freshman year, and again your sophomore year, as well as the USSBA Nationals? Again, I beamed with pride at your accomplishments – and noone was angrier than I when the WHS Marching Band was disbanded, because you had worked so hard, and obviously got so much fun and joy from it, as well as the sense of comradery that you hadn’t experienced anywhere else to that point. I always revel in your accomplishments, Deena – that shall not ever change. Here's the part you never saw, or got - I have bragged about my daughter Deena to anyone and everyone who would ever listen to me. I've dragged out pictures and all sorts of memorabilia to anyone who would listen to me talk about my daughter. But of course, you wouldn't know that, because for much of the last 7 years, I was always your prick of a dad. I've always been your biggest fanboi, but you wouldn't know that until today, the day you read this letter.
I hope the next four years are fairly kind to you, and that you study hard and get what you want, as well as what you need from school, in every way possible. That which does not kill us makes us stronger. ;o) I know there are going to be times when you are going to wish there were more hours in the day for those things you have to get done, but you're just going to have to mitigate the risk by pre-planning things and not let them wait until the last minute - but you know that, so put it into action!
All my love-