Expectations


It’s time to get going with my blog again.  I’ve caught up with my critiquing duties and I’ve had my agent pitch session (future post), so that means I’ll be dropping by everybody else’s blog real soon to say HI.  I thought I’d start off by posting the letter I gave my daughter when she graduated from college a couple weeks ago.  Hope you enjoy it! :)

This is the fourth letter I’ve written for you.  I was half way through the first one when I deleted everything.  It wasn’t saying what I wanted to say.  The second time I finished it completely before digitally ripping it up.  That one said the right things, but still didn’t feel right emotionally.  I was quite proud of the 3rd one when I gave it to your mother to proof-read, until she handed it back, informing me “you can do better.”  It seems that since I started calling myself a writer…expectations, my own as well as others, are on the rise.

As far as you are concerned, my expectations have always been high.  Regardless of how lofty your mother and I set the bar, you never disappointed.  As parents, the goal is to raise our children to become strong and independent, with values and morals we can be proud of.  For that, we will gladly accept a 4.0 in parenting, because you and your brother are what parent’s dream of when they contemplate the future.  One after another you’ve taken our outlook and made it yours, with your own special flair.  That includes my very first expectation…the one I feared the most…that a time would come when you would ravage my heart.   

One day I’m chasing after this little blonde hair cuddle bunny who just snatched the hat from my head and was running through the house as fast as her tiny legs would carry her, screaming the whole time from an equal mix of fear from being caught and excitement of being chased.  And when she suddenly plops to the carpet, hoping beyond hope she’ll magically become invisible, I have to avoid trampling her by rolling head first into the couch and wrenching my shoulder.  Then in a blink of an eye, I’m signing a college graduation card for this beautiful young woman…unable to shake the feeling I’ve been cheated.  How could it have all flown by so quickly? 

I realize this isn’t goodbye and there will be plenty of special moments ahead of us, but that knowledge does little to help the ache in my chest.  They really should do a better job of informing prospective parents that when the expected arrives, there’s a sacrifice that goes hand-in hand, and it’s one with a heavy toll.  For when you gain a self-confident adult, you lose the child whose life revolves around you. 

My baby girl has been replaced by a college graduate with a future almost as bright as her smile.  The expectations going forward from here on out…will be all yours.  All of us will be here to help you achieve your goals, or give you a smile when you fall short, but the path to possibility will be yours to choose.

Someday, in the not-to-distant future, when you hear me complaining about old age or this mysterious ache in my shoulder, I hope you’ll still snatch the hat off my head and start running.  Because I will always be chasing after you in my heart!

Forever Love,

Dad

53 comments

  1. A wonderful letter, DL. How proud you must be -- and how sad all at the same time. Congratulations!

    Glad to have you back in the blogosphere. We missed you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a lovely thought to write a letter to your daughter expressing your love for her. A lot of parents just 'expect' their children to know that they love them and never say it. It's always difficult to let them go.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a sweet and wonderful letter, DL!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautiful letter! *sigh* My kids are still children but I'm already mourning their babyhood and I think I went into definite depression when I realized, in a way, you can't hold on to your children as they are. Every year you lose them and gain an older version without even noticing until one day there's no trace of child left. Just a magnificent adult you helped raise. Am I the only one who find this totally depressing? LOL

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aw...Gosh, I just can't do the gooey right now. My oldest is about the graduate from high school and I'm on emotional overload.

    Glad to have you back!

    ReplyDelete
  6. *smiles* *tears* Beautiful letter. Loving father.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's beautiful! Your daughter is a lucky young woman.
    Congratulations to her for graduating and I am glad you are back in the blogging world :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. DL, I think the expectations have not only been met, but exceeded wonderfully. In both your letter, and -- more importantly -- in your role as a loving and guiding father, you have done a fabulous job!

    Congratulations to you and the new graduate! May there be many years of chasing after the hats still ahead.

    And, as one who has his own 5-year old granddaughter, I predict there will someday be tumbles and hat chases between "Gampa Don" and other young toe-headed bundles of joy.

    Awesome post, Bone!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ohhhh... Beyond precious! Gosh, I love the feeling this letter gave me. It's wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love it! What a wonderful letter from father to daughter. My little brother just graduated from college, too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. D.L. what a touching tribute to your little girl. They grow up so fast. My boy is only three and it still feels like yesterday I had to hold up his head.
    - Maurice Mitchell
    The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
    @thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh, wow, that was so beautiful! Congratulations on that 4.0 as a parent, and Congrats to your daughter!

    ReplyDelete
  13. AWWWW. Gosh, there are no words to describe how sweet this is. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Awwww. This is the second graduation focused post I've read today and I'm already all teary eyed thinking of my own son. He's only 1! But yet, I know that time will fly past.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a precious letter! Better than any Hallmark card. Congratulations for your college grad.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Now I'm all sniffles and hot, burning tears leaking from the corners of my eyes.

    You nailed it.

    *sniffle, sniffle*
    *nose blow*
    *embarrassing whimper*

    Off to go hug my daughter's teddy bear since she's at school and I can't hug her.

    ReplyDelete
  17. That letter made me tear up. She'll cherish that letter forever. Glad to have you back and see you around soon. Can't wait to read your future agent's post.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your daughter is very lucky to have a dad like you. Congratulations on raising a child who is now a responsible adult!

    ReplyDelete
  19. ugh! Were you attempting to make me cry? If so, 4.0 for that one, too! :D

    This is a wonderful letter, and I know your daughter's going to treasure it. I have several friends with college graduates this year, and they'r all causing me to hug my 8 and 9 yo a little tighter. I know how fast time flies. It was just yesterday mine were starting kindergarten!

    sigh.

    great work, DL, and all the best to your daughter! <3

    ReplyDelete
  20. *sniff sniff*. I hope she puts this in a special place and reads it in the future. It's sure to put a smile on her face.

    ReplyDelete
  21. That was so beautiful. You've said what so many men would love to say to their daughters, but find they don't have the words.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Beautiful, heartfelt letter. My daughter graduates from the 6th grade tonight and I already feel weepy.

    ReplyDelete
  23. omg are you trying to rip out our hearts?!?! gah! gorgeous letter. *sniffles*

    ReplyDelete
  24. It's really a mixed thrill when they graduate! Moving on to the next stage is always toughest on the parents!! She sounds like a joy :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Sigh....That was lovely and something she will treasure forever. I wish I had something like that from my father or mother. Way to be a great parent, Don!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Cue tears.

    That was so sweet. My oldest is 8 and I already get a little blubbery when I think about her leaving home. I know there will be many wonderful moments ahead!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm leaking from my eyes right now.

    Well done DL. What a beautiful letter.

    ReplyDelete
  28. A proud father. There is nothing more important in the world than our children and I think it is wonderful that you are so devoted to your daughter. Your letter was touching and brought real tears to my eyes. I am watching my girls grow up so fast and when I read the part about chasing a little blonde hair cuddle bunny, it made me cry. Congratulations to your daughter and to you.

    ReplyDelete
  29. *sniffles* Whew! OK, I'm still recovering. That's a beautiful letter, and I know it must mean so much to your daughter! Congratulations to both of you.

    ReplyDelete
  30. That was really sweet. I guess the best thing to do is make the most of all those sweet moments. It's what I try and do. Writing a letter is a really nice idea - you sound like a great dad!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Damn. Thanks for the good cry, I needed that (I *think*). So lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh, wow. What a beautiful letter. I'm always amazed at how quickly my kids grow up. Congratulations to your daughter!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Beautiful letter - I have tears in my eyes! Good to see you back here again.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Lovely - I remember those days!

    Just wait until they hit 30...made me feel older than my own 50th!

    And every adventure together is still special.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Aww! That's such a sweet letter!

    ReplyDelete
  36. That's so sweet. I'm a bit teary-eyed. And here I am freaking out because my son is going into 5th grade next year...

    ReplyDelete
  37. What a beautiful letter! Now I've got tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing something so special.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Oh, that's a wonderful letter! I think you captured it all.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Oh, DL. Your letter has brought me to tears. Because I have two young kiddos, and I know that day is coming for us, too. And for the wonderful sentiment you expressed in the letter. How absolutely perfect and eloquent.

    ReplyDelete
  40. What a come back buddy. You are more deserving of that 'Good Guy' status with almost every post.Something I recognized the day my children were born, was from that moment on I had to start letting go. It ain't easy. You have a right to be proud as does your daughter of her Dad.

    ReplyDelete
  41. How dare you make me all misty-eyed like that! Congratulations to your daughter, and congratulations to you and your wife for raising this wonderful soul the Lord has entrusted to you.

    And welcome back to blogworld! I've been stumbly here since the challenge ended, so I think you were wise to take the break and come back strong.

    ReplyDelete
  42. That was so sweet. Hmmm. My oldest is only 12 yo. Maybe I should start writing my letter to him now. :D

    ReplyDelete
  43. Gee,

    A guy with such sensitivity... I thought I was the only one.

    That was touching, DL. It takes a real man to show such love for a child.

    Your daughter is a very lucky young woman.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Oh wow, that letter tugged at my heartstrings. My baby is only thirteen, but it does go by way too fast! Such a touching tribute from an awesome dad to what sounds like a most beautiful daughter. Thanks for sharing. Excuse me while I go hug my children and make plans to play with them all afternoon. :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. That passage is always a mix of excitement, sadness and poignancy. I really can't believe my sons aren't still ten and needing me to drop them at soccer practice. It all went far too quickly.

    Congratulations on being a successful dad. If they move on with confidence you've done a great job.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Gosh DL, could ya at least put a warning on your post. Damn, had me bawling. Awesome letter to your daughter. You must be so proud.

    ReplyDelete
  47. You are so lucky to have her, and she is eternally lucky to have you as a dad. You rock, DL.

    ReplyDelete
  48. That is beautiful. Did she cry when she read it? I sure would have. And I know just what you mean... my kids are 7 and 5 and everyday I wonder how time manages to slip away so quickly. I try to relish every moment and often just stare at them and feel so blessed to know them, to have them in my lives.
    Congrats to your daughter, and to you!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. This is such a beautiful letter. What a wonderful thing to be able to give your daughter these words and memories that she'll be able to hold on to.

    ReplyDelete

 

Archives

Blog Blitz

Design by: The Blog Decorator