A Letter to My Daughter on the Edge of her Fifth Birthday

last year
68 in writing

You were born on a Monday. 

I was born on a Monday.

I can’t believe you’re five. It’s not possible. 

You are so eager to grow up. You can’t wait for Kindergarten. 

I can. 

You can’t wait until you are bigger so you can sit in the front seat of the car. 

I want you to stay in the back.  

I want to reach back through time and space to hold you again when you could fit into one arm. 

I remember the first time I heard you cry. You were three seconds old.  That sound is permanently in my brain. Dementia couldn’t take it away. 

You see at one point the doctors told us that you could have special needs and would have difficulty growing up. I hope you never experience that fear. 

When I heard you scream I knew your lungs were okay. The doctor wouldn’t let me see you at first. 

For an eternity, I heard you cry, I was not allowed to see you. Then he called me over. 

He turned to me and said, “Congratulations. She’s perfect.” 

He was right. 

You are so eager to enter school. But I am so afraid that school will stifle your individuality. And remember, your daddy is a teacher.  

But I know you are an extrovert. You love people. School will provide you a wealth of people to meet. 

You make friends as easily as fish swim. It’s amazing. 

As you enter five, I am going to do my best to make sure you can be as creative as you want to be. I don’t want the world to end that. I am going to be that difficult parent as I defend you in school. 

You won’t remember this, but we talked about rhyming words, you didn’t say cat-bat, you said, “You mean like light and white?” 

I had to stop, think, and say, “Yes. That is correct.” 

I’ve had first graders who couldn’t make that connection. 

You memorized an entire Frozen book, and then you told me to read “the wrong word,” so that you could then read the correct word. 

You once cut out a shape and sang about trapezoids. I looked at the shape you made. It was a trapezoid. 

I didn’t know what a trapezoid was until middle school. 

How do you do it? 

I am selfish, you are the greatest thing to ever happen to me. 

I am thankful to be your daddy.     

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31
  ·  last year

Love this post. I have three daughters and one is 5 years old, and i can relate to your post. Children amaze me with their innocence, and curiousity, simply amazing! Thank you for this.

69
  ·  last year

This is touching, @mctiller .
Also, I like your photography. What kind of camera gear do you use?

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68
  ·  last year

Currently I use a Canon 60D with a couple of L-series Canon lenses. I spend more on lenses than I do on bodies.

Thank you for your comment.

56
  ·  last year

Because there are two daughters to me, there was often be made to empathy.
Thank you for the very good article.

69
  ·  last year

Emotional read. I also have a five year old daughter, so I have some similar feelings.

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68
  ·  last year

It's amazing isn't it. Thanks for your comment.

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69
  ·  last year

It's such a gift to be able to reflect on your own life through the eyes of your child. Sometimes it's a real challenge, though. Thanks for sharing.

26
  ·  last year

My daughter birthday was on July 22 she's five now but the sad part is that i'm not with her right now,she with her mom trying to get a good future for her in the State.Hopefully she will be back soon so we can spend time together like we use to have so i can't wait to see her again.This a great story that you share about your daughter and hope everything is fine with her.