My daughter is 8 right now. She is already a capable and confident person, and I can’t wait to see what kind of adult she becomes. These are the things that I want her to know, now as an 8 year old, but also for her whole life. I’m her Dad, and it’s my proudest job title.
1. I will never, ever, forget the moment that you came into my world and my life changed forever. I never knew I could love anything as much, and I have never stopped.
2. I loved you first.
3. Pink is a colour. It’s not a badge, nor is it a fence for you. There’s no such thing as boys’ things and girls’ things, there are just things. Have what you want.
4. You’re going to make mistakes. But I hope after what I teach you, you make less than me.
5. I am not your best friend, I am not even your friend. I am your Dad, and you are my precious daughter. It’s a different relationship from a friendship, of which you will have many. But there’s going to times when you need me as your Dad, not your friend, and other times when I am going to have to be your Dad, and not your friend. Our bond will survive it. Don’t sweat it.
6. Nobody will ever be able to measure your value, not even me.
7. The sentence, ‘I am proud of you’, doesn’t really cut it. There’s not really a word for how proud of you I am.
8. Right now, you are ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’, but I promise that when you’re not, I won’t keep calling you that, or needing you to be that.
9. We are going to fight and argue (more than we already have), but it’s our ability to repair that rupture that counts. Let’s face it, it’s mostly going to be me that has to eat humble pie and apologise anyway…
10. Your body is the vessel that carries your spirit around. It’s your spirit that the world needs, the container is secondary, and has nothing to do with your beauty.
11. A sharp mind will always be more attractive and compelling than a little black dress.
12. I will always be honest with you about my shortcomings, no matter how hard they are to say (or hear).
13. We might not be always in the same place, or get to see each other every day. But you are always in my heart, and my head, and that will never change.
14. I know that your mum and I are always going to be your greatest teachers. And I will always do my very best to honour that responsibility.
15. Our time together, when you were a tiny baby, as well as when you will be a grown woman, will always be special to me. It will never be rushed by me, and I will always miss it when I don’t have it.
16. Have your needs met. Whether it’s from me, or your mum, or future partners, or employers or friends or your brothers, always keep asking for what you deserve. Don’t settle, you’re too important for that.
17. Dream big. And loud.
18. You have a power that the world might try to stifle, but will never be able to. And that power isn’t in how you look, or what job you have, or how much money is in your bank account. It’s in your spirit, your voice, your empathy, and your ability to love and be loved. Don’t EVER let anyone subtract from your power.
19. You are a leader. Lead. But never take advantage of the followers either.
20. When someone tells you who they are, believe them, the first time.
21. Keep strong physically. It will keep you strong mentally and emotionally.
22. Choose your idols well, but not forever. Some people are going to let you down, even your heroes. Accept imperfections and vulnerabilities, even in them.
23. Show the world your authenticity, and it will show you its.
24. Don’t let the world tell you how you should be. You tell the world how IT should be.
25. Be bold. It’s very persuasive, but also lets you find a power you might not believe you have.
26. Stay clever. But know that people of all intellects will add value to your life.
27. There will come a day where another person binds to your heart and your life. I won’t like it. But I will know that by then, you will have grown into a person who can handle it. Someone who can make the right choice for themselves. And someone who will be safe in her strength and her truth… but I won’t like it.
28. You have shown me who I am. Thankyou.
29. You make me happy, in a way that goes far beyond just making me smile.
30. Be you (that’s plenty).
31. You are going to change the world.
32. Be kind. Kindness wins.
33. I love you. So much.