Friday, June 16, 2006

Dear Princess--

News of you coming into my life changed everything as I would know it forever. Your Mom and I were on slightly different paths, heading in slightly different directions. To be honest, knowing how the military works, I don't know for sure if we would have ended up together. Your sudden appearance into my world flipped everything upside down, in ways that I could only imagine. The first time you broke my heart was when I held you and they drew blood from your heel, also drawing the first of many tears that we would share together.

You've always been brave. You were brave when we used to take you on 14-hour cross-pacific flights back and forth to Japan. You were brave when you gave up your pacifier. You were brave when you realized that having a little brother meant that you would be the only child no longer. You were brave when you went to pre-school so that Mommy could work again. You were brave when we lifted you up and travelled away from the home and school you loved to take you to Arizona. You were brave when you started Kindergarten and played soccer. You were brave when you had to sing in front of a larger assembly than either your Mommy or Daddy has ever had to speak in front of. You were brave when you readily accepted the task of being a real big sister to your newest baby brother.

I learned how to be a father through trial and error on you. When your brother showed up as unexpectedly as you did it showed us how different two children could be, and still be loved just as much. I was still learning how to be a Dad when, in your grandmother's house, I stared in awe as you took your first steps while I was alone with you. Learning still when you

You're getting big now. Too big for me to believe. You read books to me now, instead of I to you. You excel at almost anything you do. Last night you had your fourth tooth fall out. I look at your newest brother and see you in the little bundle that sleeps between your mother and I. I love watching everything you do, but I occasionally miss that little monkey that burst into my life seven years ago.


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