Open letter to my daughter


She insisted on untucking her shirt!

Since I’ve well documented on here how crappy snow removal efforts are in my community and visitors here are wondering if they landed in Alaska because of the frigid temperatures.  That meant another snow day for the kiddos and for me at work.  Two days of cabin fever have me going stir-crazy.  With nothing else to do, I thought about where my daughter would be in ten years from now when she is a senior in high school preparing to go off to college (I hope) and be the world’s best veterinarian ever.  So I drafted her a letter to read when she hits graduation.

Dear beautiful daughter,

Well, sweetie the day is finally here, you are spreading your wings and flying off.  You’re graduating, and I couldn’t be prouder of you.  When you were seven you really wanted to go to Yale like the title character in Good Luck Charlie, but with all your research you settled on Stanford University because you wanted to “explore” the world as you liked to say when you were younger.

Fortunately, you don’t remember a whole lot about it but you were six years old when your parents split, you have learned by now it was a nasty divorce, but the months following separation you were about the only thing that put a smile on my face for a while.  You and I became best friends that summer and fall; you taught me things about myself, and I taught you how to ride a bike and make cookies.  Daddy was in a dark place then but I always looked out for you the best I could and have continually, and you did the same for me back then and have every day since you matured and grown into a young woman.  You were the most battle tested second grader in your school that year, and I couldn’t have beamed with more pride every time I got a progress report that year.

The rest of your elementary school career you got to join your classmates in all school activities instead of just the events you were eligible for, and all of you girls became thicker than thieves.  The show was well before your time, but the other parents and I nicknamed you girls “The Eastland Posse”, We all took the good and took the bad when it came to raising you pre-teen monsters.  You stayed involved in cheerleading, softball, and finally gave up on basketball after you took one to many off the noggin.  All your teachers raved about how smart you were, but would comment on how you would be easily distracted.  Luckily for you, your dad got those same remarks at that age, and that grandpa you never met was the reason why.  You weren’t that lucky, so we had to clash sometimes but it got you to the sixth grade.

Your junior high years were “awkward” to say the least, you were starting to become a teenager and I understood you needing your mom more than me at times.  Boys started coming into the picture and I might have been a little too overprotective.  I wasn’t the first dad nor will I be the last dad, it’s in the “how to raise a daughter” manual all of us dads are issued after we learn we are having a daughter.  At least your mother and I agreed you weren’t dating anyone until high school!  You still received high marks at school, and play dates had turned into sleepovers.  I would have to get on you and your friends for being too noisy and loud at times, but I understood I was that age once myself.  I finally relented and let you have a smartphone, but unbeknownst to you, I controlled all the content you could access on the phone.  We had arguments, but I told you when I let you have it that I wasn’t going to let you run wild with it until you were older.  Overall though you made it through junior high doing great in school and transitioning from young adolescent girl to a beautiful glowing young woman.

High school was rough on me!  Constantly on the phone, you knew it all and were quick to remind me how dumb I was.  That sweet little seven year old that looked out for her dad in her own little way, had now become a sarcastic mini version of her father.  This was a day that I knew was coming since you were six years old, but the authentic version of it stung a little bit.  For all your sarcasm though you could be the sweetest creature on earth with me.  I cried like a baby the day I sent you off to prom because I almost didn’t get to see the day.  You had never looked so beautiful since the day you were born, and your date was the most polite gentleman I had ever met.  That’s when life came full circle for me I raised you right!  I knew when you were a bushy-tailed kid after your parents split that you would never just “accept” a guy.  He wasn’t going to have to pass the “dad” test, but your test.  Between watching you graduate high school and signing your acceptance letter to Stanford my emotional level was off the charts!  Because you are a warrior, you survived something you had no say in back when you were six years old.  I couldn’t be more proud of you!




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  4. A couple of years have passed since you wrote that letter to your daughter – time is moving on and she is turning out to be a fine well mannered young lady with a dad who loves her wholeheartedly and unconditionally. Make lovely memories & cherish that love. Nothing beats a father/daughter bond 😊

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  6. Your love and how much you cherish your daughter shines through. Love this!

  7. What a wonderful relationship…real and imagined.

  8. Wow. Beautiful letter to your adorable little girl. She has a great father, she’s lucky.

  9. Such a sweet letter, and you have some lovely hopes and dreams for your little girl!

  10. Such a beautiful letter. What a lucky girl to have a father who adores her as much as you obviously do.

  11. What a beautiful letter to your daughter! It appears you are well prepared for your daughter’s future stages of life. Your love for her shines through in all your thoughts. It sounds like she is a wonderful girl.

  12. Beautiful! She is very lucky to have you as a father. She will be as proud of you as you are of her

  13. There’s nothing I like better than to read a post like this from a proud Daddy. Her success will be a tribute to how she is being raised. For certain.

  14. She probably won’t truly understand what you have written for years after her actual graduation. So make sure you keep a copy on handso when she wants to read it again she can!

  15. What a beautiful letter! You should read it to your daughter so that she can see a future self through your eyes of hope and love. I wish you two all the very best!

  16. Oh this brought tears to my eyes. Way to go Dad. Every girl needs for her dad to tell her this! Hugs, N 🙂

  17. This letter should be framed in a simple oak or pine frame. Such a lovely letter and will mean the world to her, even more so in the future. 🙂 You are eloquent, Gary.

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  20. What a gorgeous letter. Your daughter is lucky to have a Daddy like you 🙂 xx

  21. Oh, I do hope all of these things come true! Beautiful!

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  23. So glad that you shared this on the SitsGirlsShareFest….. Again this is an awesome letter, that I hope you print when she graduates 8th grade and high school. She needs to remember that you will ALWAY have her back and you will ALWAYS be in her corner with a big heart!!!! Nice job mate.

  24. Hey Gary… I got all teary eyed reading it just like I did the first time I read it! Miss Sloane is one lucky little lady to have you as her Daddy!

    Just stopping by to say thank you for linking up with us at Party Under the Big Top! I’m glad you were able to make it over to the #BigTopBlogParty this week! Hope to see you again at the next Party Under the Big Top too! Don’t forget we go LIVE every Monday night/Tuesday morning at midnight EST!
    Wishing you a fabulous week!
    Much love,
    Lysa xx
    Welcome to My Circus

  25. This is awesome!!! Great advice and for the love of all that is holy pull this out when she is in High School so she remembers and sees how much you love her!!!! Just remember that they come back to you….


  26. Very sweet. Ahh… makes me long for a crystal ball to see where my little ones might end up 10 years from now. Glad she was resilient through the divorce. That can be such a hard time for kids. #BigTopBlogParty

  27. I have it backed up on two different zip drives, hopefully it turns out this way! Thanks for reading

  28. Great letter to your daughter. You should tuck it away for her on her graduation. It’s fun to imagine what their future will be like. Mine are three and six.
    Angela @ Stepping into Motherhood

  29. Thanks for reading, and for wishes

  30. What a sweet letter! I recently wrote a letter to our son on his birthday, but I never thought to write a “future” letter. Clever! Thanks so much for sharing. Wishing you and your daughter all the best.

  31. What a great letter! Powerful. I hope this is exactly how the next 10 years go 🙂

  32. Thank you for sharing this fantastic post. What an emotion filled letter of lovely words. Very precious. Thanks for linking up #bigfatlinky

  33. Your love for your daughter is a beautiful thing. I can see why she’s been your ray of sunshine during the dark times. Wonderful letter… so thoughtful and sweet.
    You now have me thinking. I’m going to write my kids a letter each year on their birthday and save them for their graduation!

  34. Hi Gary,

    That letter brought tears to my eyes! I read the above comment and didn’t realized you were writing a future letter but what a lucky daughter she is to have such a loving and adoring Daddy like you. If only all girls were as lucky!

    I have three daughters myself, one away at college, one in high school, and the baby is in eighth grade… Let me tell you that you hit the nail on the head in regards to the middle school and teen years as I look at my middle daughter and just shake my head because she is a mini-me and I’m finally getting back what my Daddy had wished for! Hahaha!

    Thanks so much for joining us on Party Under the Big Top and I hope you’ll be back again next week!

    Much love,
    Lysa xx
    Welcome to My Circus

  35. Nice, Gary, very touching and honest. I hope she’s read your blog and all the desperate longing you were feeling during those horrible years.

  36. What a sweet letter. Made me all misty. Sounds as though your daughter has become quite the young woman in her own right. You raised her well.

    Thank you for tossing your hat into the ring at the Party Under The Big Top! I hope to see you again next week!

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