A letter to my daughters, well past each of their birthdays, because I am a flawed but loving father

Filed under: Anya,Sierra,thoughts — by Lex on January 23rd, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

Girls,

My love for you is hilariously massive. I think you two are the most adorable creatures. I’m sorry for every time I’ve had to raise my voice, and I’m especially grateful for how patient, forgiving, and lovable you two are.

Anya, you are brilliant. You ask insightful questions, you reason, you think, and you discover. And my goodness, your memory is insane. You remember things that Mommy and I forget. You’re always listening. You are affectionate, funny, and immensely entertaining. You sing pop songs and kid songs with abandon. You love your sister so much. You are a joy.

You are also impressively honest. You tell us how you feel. We know that cleaning up the playroom makes you feel bored. You say sorry — and, indeed, feel sorry — when you make a mistake. You tell the truth.

Sierra, I foolishly expected that you would be just like Anya as you grew up. You too are a joy and a wonderful person, but of course one with a personality all your own. You love to laugh, you love to be silly, and you love to do whatever the heck Anya is doing.

And oh boy do you love asking questions. We’ve evolved from the never-ending “Why?” to a series of ever more detailed “Whys” instead:

“Why did you put the plate away?”
“Why are you done eating?”
“Why aren’t you hungry anymore?”
“Why did you eat enough?”
“Why are you good at satisfying your appetite?”
“Why can’t you answer that?”

Like Anya, you love music, though your tastes are often more demanding. You love your routines — videos after nap time, stories and music always in the right order — just like your sister did at your age. You love hugs and kisses, and you love showing off how cute you are. You also love trouble, little missy, and frankly it’s kind of hilarious.

Being a parent isn’t always easy. It’s easy to take a kid to the potty one time, or two times. Sierra, when you need to go five times in 30 minutes — and indeed manage to go each time — each successive trip gets a little more annoying. But here’s the thing: Each time, you tell me how you’re a “Big girl!” Or, if you’re feeling silly, “A big monkey!” or some other animal. Each time you hug me as I help you get dressed again. And each time, your perfect little smile makes those perfect little cheeks, which end up right in front of my face, which inevitably results in lots of kisses.

And oh, those cheeks. You and Anya both have inherited your mother’s perfect, kissable, lovable cheeks. I’ve kissed your cheeks so many times, and it never gets old.

You two do, though. It’s hard to look at Anya and comprehend that just two short years ago, she was Sierra’s age, or that Sierra’s just two years shy of four. The two of you are growing up too fast, and I beg you to slow down.

At the same time, I love every new age you reach. Anya, when you get upset now, I feel like I’m pretty good at calming you down, because you can reason and understand. It’s wonderful. At the same time, though, you’re four. When you get upset because Sierra won’t pretend to read you a specific page of a book, or she won’t agree to be the Mean Witch when she’d rather be the princess, it’s again something very difficult for me to process. You are in many ways an old soul, wise and mature beyond your years, and when you act like the kid you are, it forces me to remember that while you’re already four, you’re also only four.

Sierra, as I mentioned, idolizes you. Sierra, you taught yourself to climb into your booster, to climb into your big girl bed, to do so many things that Anya inspired you to do. Yet you keep falling right out your bed in the middle of the night. And I keep trudging in there to lift you — still mostly asleep, both of us — back into your bed. Little tiny you in your big massive bed is a perfect metaphor for your whole existence right now. You are so small and so big.

I love being your daddy, girls.

I’m sorry that Mommy and I got more lax on the blogging. A lot of it is wanting to simply enjoy your amazingness as it happens, and then being too tired at the end of each day to write down all the details about it. I could write volumes about you both; you are inspiring and incredible people, and I feel lucky that I get to know you, let alone live with you and receive your love.

You make my life so much better than I ever expected it could be, and for that I owe you a lifetime of thanks. You both are going to make incredible big sisters to your baby brother in just a few short weeks.

I love you both totally and completely. Thank you for being you.

All my love,
Daddy

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