to my daughter.
There were magazines lined up by the counter. Each one with a headline about ten ways to be sexy or who has the best beach body or why breast cancer is preventable. I look at my pregnant wife, not yet showing, but full of baby nonetheless. And I thought how tough it is to be a woman in this generation.
Like when you buy a new car and everybody else you see has the same exact car, or so it seems, I saw these magazines everywhere. At the grocery store. In the trash can. At work. I was barraged with images in commercials, television shows and on the front of magazines all with this same modern, often-Photoshopped standard of beauty. And I started to get what God and apparently the editor of every glossy cover wanted me to know: get ready for a girl.
I saw you this week. A black and white movie of you. It wasn’t much, just an ultrasound glimpse. But it was enough. You were everything I expected and secretly wanted.
You are a girl. My beautiful daughter.
You don’t know me yet. Not well at least. I’m the voice yelling at your brother to not jump from the top of the couch. I’m the guy who will put headphones on mommy’s belly. I’m the dad who will push you in a stroller and push you when your car stalls in the middle of the road because you thought quarter of a tank is enough to get you home.
There’s a lot of things I can’t verbalize right now. I cannot tell you what it meant to see your mom see you for the first time on the screen. And I cannot tell you how long I’ve prayed for you. I cannot tell you that I’m going to like every decision you make and I cannot promise to love you perfectly. I am trying to come to grips with the fact that often the life of a little girl is reliant on a mixture of forces both seen and unseen. And I may not be at the center of all of them.
But today, I am a dad who is blessed to be a part of your story. To have the privilege to share a life with so many people who have made you, your brother and your mom possible.
It was nice to meet you this week, sweetheart. I’ve been told that little girls love their daddys. I hope so. Because I’ve loved you for so long already.