Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Dear Grace:

You are five-years-old today. Congratulations! I am so proud of who you are becoming, a fine young girl filled with energy, desire, and a steadfast knowledge of what you want.

While these qualities can sometimes be difficult, especially when you don't know how to channel your boundless energy and enthusiasm in the ways you want, I know that as you get older and as you hold onto these qualities, you will blossom further into an amazing and spectacular person.

You know, as do I, that we have had our share of squabbles. I've shouted at you more times than I am proud to remember. You have fought against my expectations and requests many times. You will continue to do these things throughout your life, because, well, it is going to become more and more your life as time goes on. We won't see eye-to-eye, but I hope and pray and believe that we will come out of things firmly in support of each other. We are bound together with a common life and a shared history. I hope I never forget the things that you do, large and small, because you do things in the largest way that you can.

That is one thing that is so spectacular about you, Grace. You live your life exuberantly, as every five-year-old should. I hope you never loose that joyous drive to shout, to grab things and make them your own. That sort of desire, belief in yourself, and confidence can create amazing things for you and for those who are lucky enough to be around you.

You have an amazingly expressive face; a face that has never taken a bad picture. Your thoughts and your feelings are right there for everyone to see. You can make me laugh with that face like no one else. When you make a joke, not only your face, but your head, shoulders, arms, and entire body is taken up in the telling. Please don't allow that expressiveness to be taken away by caution and hesitancy.

I am so proud to be your daddy and I hope that you can understand that. I try my best to tell you how much I love you--in the words I say, the hugs I give, and in the things that I teach you. I will always be there for you, from this birthday and for many more to come.

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