Your 35-year-old father just spent the last 16 minutes before writing this, my first letter to my daughter, in our garage, dancing solo to Jidenna's first solo album blasting through home iPhone speakers, hot-boxing the newly cleaned space. It's lovely in our garage ever since we installed our Garage King storage racks. Even your mother was impressed by the drastic change and that's saying something.
I walked back in the house this Sunday evening, and had to write you. Your brother is sound asleep. As much grief and love your brother can dish out during daylight, he returns with sound ass sleep night after night. The peace of sound sleep is a gift that humbles me every night I'm able to witness and achieve it. I'm in debt to your big brother for giving me that. I've written your brother so many letters, but he's got a 5 year head start of you.
You were due 6 days ago. You're mother and I are positive you're destined for unparalleled amounts of stubborn and steadfastness. Your brother has challenged us down to our very identities. And if you're anything like him, or the millions of daughters who've come before you to teach their parents more about themselves, the parents you'll come to know will undoubtedly be more worn down versions of ourselves, but hopefully you can still recognize us through these words.
Love and Marriage
I haven't written in a few months. Your mother and I often talk about what we want from our site, our project, our journal pancakesandcider.com. I tell her I want a journal of the lives we built together to give to you and your brother. I want you both to know the imperfect people your parents were and still are. Every single human's story comes down to a version of suffering, growth, and acceptance. This one is ours - based on intentionality, perseverance, and support. She wants a better revenue stream for the site. I understand where she's coming from, but I can't understand where she's coming from. And that ambiguous ass statement pretty much sums up your father - and the man your mother has to read into. I understand her frustration. However, my writing doesn't understand metrics.
Your mother let's me be me. And I hope I'm doing the same for her. Sometimes our natural versions of ourselves don't get along - at all. And that's okay as long we keep talking. It's called marriage.
Your mother and I are building something larger than ourselves, and we work hard at being better versions of ourselves, because if there's one thing this marriage has taught us is that you can't make another grown person do a damn thing. You can influence all day every day, but you can never pull the trigger of action for another human being.
We moved into the house you'll call home about six months ago. Your mother and I intentionally moved to Austin because it's beautiful here. From Houston to Tampa to Atlanta and back to Houston, we decided to stay close to your grandparents here in Texas, and Austin was a perfect city to plant roots. The point is to enjoy the freedom to explore our beautiful country. Never take your freedom for granted. It's not guaranteed. We're very fortunate for the four walls we get to call home. Your mother and I put a lot of love into getting your room ready. From the repurposed desk from the Croatian carpenter to the simple IKEA wall shelf, I hope you always look around and feel the love from us. I hope it always feels like home for you.
In modern society most people trade their time, physical presence, and mental energy in exchange for a wage they hope they can feed, clothe, shelter, and insure themselves and their children. Once again, our family is fortunate in this category as well. Since we have the privilege to not worry about our safety and security, we have the luxury of proactively planning for our future. And I'm grateful. For many the freedom is a burden, and they don't even realize it. Financially, your mother and I have a lot more work to do to ensure a generational impact, but know that's always been our goal. We aim to teach you the path to your own financial independence and the awareness of how impactful the freedom can be for your own opportunities, identity, and impact on others. We've come a long way, but still have so much more work to do. There's always work to do. Always. Be the owner of your income streams.
Choose them wisely. Be kind. Everyone isn't for everyone. And it's okay.
About your mother
She loves you. She has a hard time expressing herself, other than when's she's angry, but she gets better everyday. I'm positive you're late on arrival because her dissenting blood is pumping through your very veins. You should know that if you ever say the words, "Mom, I need you to listen and pay attention to me and my words for the next 15 minutes", she'll stop whatever she's doing to truly hear you. Don't be a afraid to use it. Don't be afraid to make yourself heard. Pay attention to how your mother wants you to treat your body. She shows her love by embedding a love and respect for the only body you will ever have into you. She loves you. Be patient with each other.
I haven't even met you, and I'm excited as hell to meet you. We're going to have a blast. I can't wait to dance together and watch Voltron. I can't wait for you to teach me about all the things you like. Can't wait to chill and watch you grow. I'm grateful for you - and terrified at the same time. We'll all work through it together. Welcome to to your life. It's yours anyway - make it your own.