An Open Letter to the World:
Correction, it’s actually an open letter to the world ahead of my beautiful, special little girl. As my little girl prepares to start kindergarten next week I’ve grown remarkably introspective and surprisingly emotional. Every time I’ve caught myself allowing my mind to really explore what was happening and unfolding over the next weeks, months and years, I’ve found myself welling up. As I started piecing together what I wanted to lay out in this letter, I found myself downright tearing up and I would venture a guess that by the time I’m done writing this I’ll be full out crying.
Let me preface that by stating that I am your every day mans man. I play hockey, softball, basketball and golf. I work out and run, play fantasy football and watch Sens games religiously. I can talk for hours on end with friends or guys at work about any and all minute details of any sports trade, waiver pick up or grossly over-valued contract. I’ve put up drywall, built decks, put in flooring and all the other manly renovations one can undertake. I’ve done a Spartan Race and Crossfit classes. I work in the sporting goods industry so I am surrounded all day with hockey, skates and the like. Having said all that, my world was brought into a whole new focus the day my little girl was born.
Maybe it’s because she was born five weeks early and spent the first two in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit . Maybe it’s because those first two weeks, despite my brave face and upbeat attitude felt like the most helpless of my life. Maybe it’s because somewhere way back deep in the back of my subconscious, I was terrified. Maybe it’s for all these reasons that I feel the overwhelming, encompassing need to keep her safe. To protect her like only her Daddy can. To be the port in any storm, the light to guide her, her mother and brother home.
We all knew school was eventually coming. You can’t ignore life lurking around the corner. I just didn’t know it was coming so quickly. Don’t get me wrong, she’s more than ready. She won’t be four until December so she’ll be one of the youngest in her class but she’s definitely more than ready. Are her Mom and I? Well, that’s a whole different ballgame.
I want to wrap my arms around her and carry her through the world, shielding her from any and all hurt, heartbreak and disappointments. I know these are all a part of life and make us who we are today but really? My little girl, can’t we just skip that part. She’s too pure, her heart is too big, her love is too strong. Something about a little girl, right? I think we could send her baby brother off today and not worry as much for some reason. He’s a tank, he’ll push people out of his way, he’ll blaze a trail, right or wrong. Grudgingly, I know I need to let go of her hand, to let her take a step or two away. To grow on her own. I know deep down she’ll be alright, she’s too smart, too bright and her flame burns too brightly.
The scariest part in fact isn’t kindergarten itself. It’s what it represents. It represents the first few steps down a path that branches off a little from the one we’ve been on. The one where we took each and every step together. I need to wrap my teary, eyed head around the fact that she’ll still be my little girl even if she’s over on that path. I can still reach her over there.
Well, I’ve got my eye on you big scary world, and I guess I’ve got a few words for you. Make way as my little girl is coming through.
Image Credit: Eden, Janine and Jim