To my daughter, I am sorry I was not there when you entered this world. I have to imagine, you were the most beautiful baby girl to have ever been born. I am sorry I was not there to see your first steps, to hear your first word, or see you eat that cake at your first birthday.
I wish I could have been there for your first Christmas and Easter. I bet you were a beautiful little princess for Halloween. I would have given anything to be the Dad who got to take you to your first day of preschool and again for your first day of kindergarten. I would have kissed your boo boos and bandaged your cuts and scrapes. I wish I could have been the Dad you needed, the Father you deserved.
Thankfully, I was there for your sixth birthday. You were the cutest little clown for Halloween. We got to spend our first Thanksgiving and Christmas together, and after your Mom and I married, I adopted you as my very own.
I was there for your first game of catch in the backyard, and to see you play your first softball game. I helped you roll your first bowling ball down the lane, and to see you throw your first strike. I cheered you on when you made your first basket, I was so proud!
I have been there for everything from “the talk” to talking about evil girls and those dang boys. I’ve been there to see you get angry with me, many many times. I understand you may not have wanted my coaching advice. I know you hate it when I check in on your devices and social media apps. I’m sure you dislike getting fashion advice from an old man, and I know we will have our disagreements in the future.
My beautiful, smart, talented daughter, I am so thankful you have accepted me as your Dad. I can’t tell you how much it means to me, that you trust me enough to be open and honest with me. I hope that will never change.
I’m sorry you spent the first five years of your life without a father, but I promise to make up for that, by being the very best Dad to you, for the rest of my life.