For Penny & Quinn
You’re growing up in a world that’s just starting to understand the importance of equality; but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be a man out there who tries to establish dominance over you.
It’s an antiquated dichotomy that seemed appealing in old movies, but never in real life. Submission isn’t living, it’s surviving.
You will never have to survive.
You will only thrive.
But it won’t be without a couple of bumps and bruises.. Which is why I will teach you how to rise above – either with your words or your actions.
Which is why I’ve surrounded you with strong women – as there’s certain things that need to come from them that will have a greater impact than if they came from me.
I’m not the kind of father who will threaten your boyfriend.
I’ll just always be ready if you need me.
I’m not the kind of father who cares if you have a girlfriend.
Because that’s your choice.
In fact, I think I would prefer it. Haha.
I’m also not the kind of person who will pressure you to be someone or something you’re not. This is your life, and right now I am your guide. It’s my job to foster a warm and beneficial environment for you – but not to dictate who you are.
You don’t want to dance with a purpose?
Cool. Dance for fun!
I was raised by your grandmother, and for that I have a very unique view of the world which conflicts with my size and my loud and outlandish personality; but that’s a different story.
She raised me to accept everyone and everything – but she never made a big deal out of it – because when you make big deals out of tacit things, then they aren’t so tacit anymore; they become more austere and lose the innocence and openness that you should approach them with.
Regarding whoever you fall in love with, if you plan on falling in love with someone:
- Should open doors for you.
- Should ask you how your day was.
- Should always offer you the fluffier pillow.
- Should always stand up when you walk in the room.
- Should feel comfortable crying in front of you.
Your mom and I didn’t make it, and I am sorry for that, but even now – in the weird and wild places we find ourselves in together – I respect her. She’s your mom and we loved one another enough to bring you both into this world.
I did those five things for her for fifteen years.
I still open doors for her and stand up when she walks into a room..
We will always be behind you to support you. We may get mad at you – but we’ll never let anyone put you down. And even in our anger, we will support you. It’s critical that you know that – as I think some people think they’re all alone sometimes; and none of us really are – ever.
That said, when you need to – lean babies, lean – we’re both strong people and it’s our job to take on your worries and sorrow – from now until the end of time. That said, it’s also our job to make sure your shoulders are strong enough to take on the weight of the world.
6. You can always end an argument with a hug.
7. Be prepared to be disarmed by a hug.
8. Never go to bed angry.
That last one – #8 – is from your grandfather, my dad. He was an asshole. He thought money was the solution for everything. He loved me and your uncles and aunt – but he didn’t respect us. Your mom never met him – because he was the type of man I never want you to meet. He thought he was better than everyone, and he died alone.
We can talk about him when you’re older, if you want – but you have Goomie, and he’s the best grandfather you could ask for. He was the best “dad” I could have asked for.
9. Never think you’re better than anyone. We’re all in this together.
10. Never let anyone think they’re better than you. Roar when you need to road.
I love being your dad. It’s my everything – and everyone knows that. I’m not perfect, and I am learning with you – but while I’m still alive and kicking, I will do everything I can to prepare you for the world – on my own or with a little help from our friends.
Fact is, I am a better father to you than I would have been if I was still married to your mom. It’s a weird thing to say and it can be taken a lot of ways – but just know that I have to focus on you. I don’t have someone else to take the reins. I love it. It’s the best feeling in the world.
All in all, ladies – we are in this together and you’re more than welcome to get down to brass tacks with me and get my head straight – help me figure out the things that you need me to figure out.
All I ask from you is that you keep an open mind.
Because you’re going to need it.
… And that’s not a bad thing.
You have my sword in war until you’re ready to wield it.