A Letter to Maelle, From Your Dad
Maelle - how are you already five? How have the precious first few years of your life passed by so quickly? I can still remember the day you were born. How the sound of your first newborn cries rang sweetly in my ears while also creating an instinctive feeling of protectiveness. I held you in my arms and thought – “I will love you forever; I will do anything for you”. From the moment I saw your face, I was changed in the best of ways. You immediately became the centre of my world and I would have done anything to keep you safe and happy.
As the years have passed, I have seen you grow and mature into the person you were always destined to be. When you were one, you would chatter away and were fascinated by animals. By the time you were two, you were speaking full sentences and constantly surprising me by all the things you remembered. At three you began having fully formed thoughts and ideas, crafting silly jokes, and still always talking. In year four, your already astounding level of independence grew exponentially, and your voice never once took a break.
Today, you are sweet, compassionate, and thoughtful; your first instinct is to be kind. You ask your mother and I lots of questions – so very many questions – and have a genuine curiosity to learn new things. You are strong and fearless, bold and brave. You are passionate, dramatic, and artistic. You know my schedule and get excited for Fridays because that means I’m home all weekend and we can make scrambled eggs or play Spice Girls. On Sunday nights you get sad because you know that means I’m getting on an airplane in the morning and will be away for the next four days.
While these years have been the best of my life, I know that the special days are numbered. In a few short years, you may not be as excited to see me when I get home from work. Or, you may not care to spend time with your dear old dad on the weekend. I know there will come a day when I put you down for the last time and never pick you up again. And, as hard as it is to think about right now, that’s okay. You will continue to grow and mature – that’s just how life works. Even if I had the power to stop time, I wouldn’t because watching you navigate this world fills me with confidence in your future and joy beyond my deserving. It would be naïve of me to think that you would stay this way forever, and honestly I wouldn’t want to miss out on future you anyways.
So, for your fifth birthday, I am writing you this note so that one day you may read it and understand just how much you mean to me, how much you have given me, and how much I have changed because of you. I’ve tried my best, but words on a page could never express the depth of my love and adoration for you. You are so very loved and, no matter how the future turns out, nothing will ever change that.
Never let the light inside of you stop shining brightly and may your voice never be silent. Happy birthday my darling princess.