By Jesse Giglio:
It doesn’t seem that long ago, and yet it’s a lifetime. Or maybe two. I was trading in a surf session for a trip to the hospital. Everything was about to change. It was finally time to meet you. And I was wearing boardshorts, (sorry about that). You were going to make me a dad. And sure, I didn’t know how to put in a car seat or swaddle you in a blanket, but I knew I could love you. I couldn’t help but love you. And from day one you loved me, instantly making every moment brighter, lovelier and more meaningful. I couldn’t really explain how I felt and still can’t. Love seems like too small of a word, but I know that’s what it was. And what it is. I had no idea what I was getting into but I knew it was a gift. A gift that would continue to give me life every day to follow.
But then I blinked and you’re 18. I wish I could’ve kept my eyes open just a little bit longer.
You are beautiful and kind. Thoughtful and imaginative. You are Alice In Wonderland and Snow White. Your kindness is not of this world. You make people feel better and want to be better. And I’ve known that about you forever, but it doesn’t take long for anyone to discover the same. Maybe it’s the Aloha in your heart.
Your faith is calm and unwavering. As if a fortress, but not one that is closed off, rather one that is open and generous. How do you do that? Either way, I’m proud of you for that.
I often miss holding you in my arms (which is why I still try), but I would never trade in the fun we have now. You make everything an adventure. Even a sunset. Giving lasting memory to the colors and clouds because I remember you being there.
I’ll never look at a canoe without thinking of our broken paddles. Or drink a latte without remembering a certain joke. And could I ever experience Christmas at Disneyland in the same way without you by my side.? You add meaning and create moments wherever you go, and wherever we go.
Being with you always makes me happy.
After my mom died, you walked with me to get coffee. On our way you put your arm on my shoulder and asked how I was doing. I was so proud. And so confused-. wWasn’t this just my little girl? But you weren’t. You were a strong young woman. But you’re also still my little girl.
I believe in you. Because I know you, and what’s inside of you.
I hope you know that.
And that I’m here for you, always.