Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Dear Dad-
I owe a lot to you, and missing your birthday isn’t a great place to start. You gave me so many dear gifts, I can’t begin to explain them to you. What breaks my heart is that somewhere I feel like you feel like you failed with me. I’m the only kid without a degree, true. I haven’t been consistently active with church since I was eighteen. I’m no virtuous mothering example, and say words like “crap” really often. :)
Dad, you have always held a very high standard for us. For the longest time, I resented it and felt like it would never be something that I could attain. Time changes people. At this stage of the game, I have sincerely given up trying to be what I think you think I should be, and it has been liberating. …Not because I don’t care, but because I see what you wanted for me was different all along. The standard you held me to and expected of me was only for my benefit -not for my comparison against 5 brilliant other children, and not for what translated into a degraded self-esteem for years. It really was because you knew what I was capable of -and there’s something so beautiful about that to me.
Dad, I want you to know that I haven’t given up “meeting” that standard, but I will tell you , it will be for ME that I get there… And when I do, I know that what will make me feel like I accomplished it, is what you truly want for me.
I do celebrate you Dad. You’re an absolutely fascinating and complicated and strong and good person. I am grateful for your flaws. I am grateful for your immeasurable strength. Happy birthday, and please know that I love you beyond what words can express.

Your daughter,