Friday’s Essay – A Letter to My Daughter

Love LetterI wrote a letter to my daughter.  A love letter, really.  I’ve always been good with words, but only written words.  I find it very difficult to articulate my feelings out loud.  I’d like to think I’m getting better at telling people how I feel, but I’ve never been good at it.  I am a very emotional person, but I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve.  That’s the quickest way to get that thing broken, believe me I know.  So, it’s rare that I actually tell my daughter how completely amazing I think she is.  She is eighteen and lives away from home now.  And, as much as I love her, its best that we live apart – at least, for a little while.  That certainly doesn’t stop me from loving her and marvelling at the person she’s become.  In fact, I marvel at the person she’s become in spite of all the enormous and embarrassing mistakes I made while she was growing up.  I’m not going to list them here – that’s what therapy is for.  Suffice it to say, she is a caring, loving, compassionate, smart, funny, helpful, thoughtful, curious, honest individual who is an excellent writer, picks up languages like most people pick up pizza, and has no qualms about shovelling the poop of twenty dogs for a morning. (I do know how ridiculous that run-on sentence is, but that’s how it’s going to stay.)  It shouldn’t be hard to tell her how wonderful I think she is.  However, as previously stated, I find it really difficult to tell anyone, out loud, how wonderful I think they are.  So, I write letters.  A letter takes time.  I can strike out a word, or a whole sentence, and start over until the words are just right.  In a letter I’m erudite. In a letter my words convey just the right emotions, just the right images.  The trick after putting the feelings to paper is to send the letter.  Which I usually do.  And, I did send the one to my daughter – in a care package with chocolate from her grandfather and a CD from her uncle.  She knows I love her – I always tell her that – it’s the other stuff that’s harder to say.  I’m not sure why.  I’m just glad I’m a relatively competent writer, otherwise no one would ever know how I feel about them.