A Love Letter to My Daughters

ToMyDaughtersTo Mango and Poppy

As I watched you both sleep so peacefully this bright Sunday Father’s Day morning I thought I would write you this love letter.

I love you both from the bottom of my heart. In the Greek language there is a word called Agape. In Sanskrit it is called Bhakti. In Swahili they say Masharti Upendo. All these phrases roughly translate into English as unconditional love. That is what I have for you. A love without condition.

We laugh, actually you grimace when I refer to you as the fruit of my loins, but I am amazed at what nature has allowed me and your Mum to create. Both of you. A combination not just of genes but of our hearts. Our heartbeat.

I know I have dreams for you but your let your dreams be bigger. I give you gifts that I wish for you take through all of your life.

I give you the gift of laughter. Yes I have issues and most of my jokes are drier than the Sahara, but I love laughing. With you. Sometimes at you. And often at my own expense. Laughter is its own language. Be fluent. Speak it often and from your belly.

I give you the gift of confidence. Each day I hug you and tell you that I love it is not you boost your ego but allow you to know you are magnificent. Recently I heard that success is about where you come from, not where you are going to. All you have and want to be confident in life is already within you. You are amazing.

I give you the gift of empathy. Sometimes you may see others who don’t get you. Who will project their reality on to you. Some friends will come and go. The gift of empathy is a bellwether and anchor if you will in those stormy times. Understand so you may be understood, even if the other doesn’t choose to understand in the present. Always look for the good in others.

I give you the gift of boundaries. Whilst it is important to love, respect and treat others like you wish to be treated not everyone gets that. It is important to understand your boundaries. Know how others should treat you. Know when to speak. Know how to intervene. Learn what love means to you and understand that whoever shows up, be it family or friends, that your boundaries are not to be comprised. They are you. Never apologise for being you.

I give you the gift of persistence. Never give up. This is not just about tasks or projects but it is about an attitude to life. Play in the garden that is humanity. Explore the playground that is life and don’t quit. Recognise that you have a unique and incredible contribution to life and that is what makes you shine. Those times when you get knocked back reach out for help from those who matter and love you to help you to keep persisting but never give up.

My hope and prayer is that I (and your Mum) have shown you examples of what loving yourself and loving others looks like. That we have modelled what a relationship worth having is about. That there is a unique balance of being able to serve and be served. To love truly madly deeply. That heroes are not to be put on pedestals but should be admired for their flaws and willingness to own those flaws as well as the majesty in which they perform the things they are good at.

I am the proudest Dad in the world. I am glad sometimes you allow me to share some of those gifts with my adopted children I meet in my work.

Let us continue to laugh together. Play silly car games together. Explore the universe and wonder at its mystery together. Debate and set the world to rights together. Sing in three part harmony together. Cry at sad movies together. Get angry and make up with each other. Journey with each other through life’s changes. Learn, forgive and have gratitude for each other. Be always open with each other.

You are my present and most valuable creations and you are also my legacy. My shoulders were made for you to stand on. So come stand on them whenever. I LOVE YOU.

You are my Father’s Day present. Ever year. xxx

Love, Dad

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