Tuesday, November 19, 2013

07:17

Every morning I have an alarm that goes off at 07:17. It is a daily reminder of the time at which life demanded more of me. You were born at 07:17. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I Love Reading

I love reading. I love it because I love to learn and through reading I can satisfy that love. It is something that it is a part of who I am. I am a curious guy. It is what drove me to take apart TVs and radios growing up. It is the reason I open phones and computers to till this day. I get lost between pages as my imagination teleports me into different worlds. It shows me a different way to think and invites the formation of new ideas. It is breathtaking to consider how many words, ideas, stories, and more can be created with then letters of the alphabet. This morning I witnessed you spend your Saturday morning reading book after book and I could not get any happier. A love of books once discovered grows exponentially and leads to a richer life. It appears that my princess is on the verge of such a life altering discovery. 10 books before breakfast. I tip my hat to you darling. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I Am Proud of You

For all posterity I want you to know and let it be known that I am proud of you. I stand in awe of what a wonderful person you are. At six years old I can say that you are very caring, inquisitive, intelligent, and interesting person. The depth at which you make connections impresses me. If an adult were able to make the same connections I would say the same. I think that sometimes it gets lost just how being a kid does not mean that you are not capable of amazing things or that only the mundane gets highlighted into greatness. In you I see the blossoming of a writer, a tenacious debater, and inquisitive mind. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Following Your Steps

It is always fascinating to me when the student becomes the teacher. I have never been able to swim to save my own hide. Watching you take swimming lessons the last few years was a constant reminder that one day you would be in the water and I would do well to learn if I am to be able to carry out my fatherly duties and keep you safe. I kept saying that I was going to take lessons to learn. Then something happened. I kept watching you practice. I kept reminding you of the things your teachers wanted you to remember. Then yesterday I decided to see how hard it was to do the "few things you have to remember" and guess what... I swam. For the first time in my life I actually swam across the pool without the need of a lifeguard coming to my rescue. It was fun taking turns doing laps with you. I am now thanks to you better prepared to be a father to you. It was awesome and I look forward to more experiences like that.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

About How Families Work

It is not the easiest of things in life to make time for everything that you want, need, or would like to do. It gets even more complicated when you add the competing interests of others in your family. You want to go to the park while mom might want to go to the gym, me, I might not know what exactly I want to do but those two options are not it. That is life as a family. I made many decisions in my life that have led me to this point in my life. Those decisions came with responsibilities. Get married, you have to take into account your wife's desires. Have children, they have needs that take priority. I know that you can sense some of that in the household; any kid can. I just want you to know that it is not your fault. You will grow and learn that it is part of humanity. It is a skill that we all must learn and constantly use. What skill? The ability to prioritize competing interests and find common ground, to make sacrifices, to compromise. 

I am your father but I am also an individual and at times it takes work to balance those two roles. I just need you to know that regardless you will always be my daughter, I will always love you, and I will do everything to ensure your happiness. That does not mean I will do what you want me to do but what I need to. Long work days are necessary to provide for us. Saying no to extra work is also necessary to put family first. Every day we all have to find balance. It is not always easy. Knowing what is important, family, helps me keep me focused on what matters. In the long run you will see that the sacrifices that your mother and I have made will pay dividends to us all. It is important to know that the cost, the price, paid in life does not always show up on a bill. Some times it is in the time and attention that it requires. You have all my attention, all my time if you need it.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Teaching The Art of War to a 6 Year Old

In life there are some things that I truly dislike. I mean really, truly, and deeply dislike. I hate the feeling I get when my hands are tied and I cannot help those I love. This feeling is magnified when it involves you. I dislike it so much that it motivated me in part to create this blog. I wanted to be able to pass on my knowledge to you so you would know who I am but more importantly because I wanted you to know. Know everything. Know things. Knowledge is power. Some of my posts are sappy and others are celebratory. Some are a response to something I have seen, experienced, or thought about. Others are simply words that I want to pass on to you; my daughter.

Maybe reading this post years from today will remind you of a little nugget of advice I gave you this week... 

In life we all encounter people who like to stir the pot. For reasons unbeknown to us they like to start drama. You have met someone in your young life that fits that bill. Personality clashes? Insecurities? Who knows why she likes confrontations and seems to like getting them going. I know you are your mother's child and won't back down for anyone (one of my favorite things about her by the way). Some times in order to win the war it is not a matter of going blow for blow. If we go through life like that we are bound to find someone that is just as intent on destruction and hostilities will never end. 

Sun-Tzu said that war is a psychological affair with deception being the greatest weapon. What does that have to with kindergartners? Simple, I told you rather than argue back at the next round of "pot-stirring" to simply smile and give her a thumbs up. The result? She was shell-shocked and did not know what to do and thus was unable to get anything started. While this is not a long-term solution and will not work every time it does give you control of a situation when it does. By not giving people what they want and changing the game to the one you want to play you get behind the driver's seat.

I will not always be there when things get ugly, awkward, or uncomfortable. My advice and life lessons will be. I hope that I am able to do a good job as a father and prepare you to face life and adapt when the unforeseen happens. As a father I fear that I will never be able to feel 100% at ease as I know as you grow up you will be further away from my protection as you seek your own path but I want you to know that no matter what I will always be a call away. I will always have your back. I will always be here when you need me.

Friday, May 3, 2013

As I Once Did

I have fond memories of taking things apart and putting them back together with my father. Today I will continue in that tradition and introduce you to the world of linux. We live in a world where most consume and the few create. I want you to be a part of the few. I want you to use your brain, your intellect. To dare to be curious and experiment, to take things apart, see how they work. To wonder what makes the things around us what they are. What is it that makes them work as they do.

I want you to be the daughter of a tinkerer who is not afraid of what is under the hood. We will start with simple things with the hopes that one day you will be the one teaching me how to take apart some of the most complicated things in the world. I get giddy just hearing you tell me how you plan on making your own walking robot. Well if that is what you would like to do then we better get you well versed in the things that make them work. Programming, mechanical engineering, etc. 

I am currently downloading a couple of different things to introduce you to a world that most of your contemporaries will probably never see or at the very least are years from discovering. I have my fingers crossed. If this goes well it can lead to a lot fun and interesting projects between the two of us!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Capturing Moments

I am not sure how much of this will you remember in the future. I have vague memories of my childhood so I cannot be certain of how much you will remember. I do however have a lot of impressions and feelings about growing up that remain with me until this day. I might see a familiar sight or smell my father's aftershave and a rush of memories return to me. Our minds work in very interesting ways and things we see, touch, smell, taste, or hear can trigger long hidden things in our memory bank. 

You have an advantage I did not have growing up, technology. Technology has advanced to a point that as you grow up we are able to capture an immense amount of pictures, videos, moments in time. I hope that along with things like this blog you will be able to look back at your childhood and see how much you are loved. To be able to relive some of the wonderful things that made your childhood special. In many respects you will be able to see yourself through our eyes. 

I love seeing your expression as you see baby pictures of yourself now. I can only imagine what that is going to be like in another 20 years. The best part about it is that you will be able to trigger memories and emotions of your childhood in ways I can only imagine. Favorite toys, books, places, activities, friends, all the little things that with time fade from memory will be there. I will continue to snap pictures, videos, and save everything I can for you. 


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Habits

Habits are hard to break. I found myself parked in front of your school to drop you off this morning. Only one problem, school was closed and you were not even in the car with me. I was driving along as I do every Tuesday and hardly thought about how different this particular morning was. I had to laugh at myself. When I called you this morning to tell you what I had done you thought it was the funniest of things. I could not argue with you. It was silly.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shaped By You

A daughter changes everything.

In my case you changed everything. In it that I woke up in a world where my actions, thoughts, desires, dreams, and everything that makes me who I am had to be analyzed. I put off asking a lot of the difficult questions about the world, myself, and life. A kindergartner can rattle your cage if you are not prepared to answer those questions. The reality of a curious child can shake foundations. As a father I also have the responsibility to answer these questions for you. The day will come that these questions will be asked with more reason than simple child-like curiosity. These questions will come in order to help you shape your very character, philosophy, and image of the universe. 

Holding up a mirror.

It is situations like this in which you have placed me repeatedly. Forcing me to face myself, to take a long look at my reflection and be sure I like what I see. I am to examine who I am, my reasons, what I belief and understand it all. If there is weakness in my foundation it will become exposed and will undoubtedly cause me to waver. I love that out of our relationship I am gaining as much as you are. I must search for wisdom, find wisdom, and pass it down to you. Wisdom that I do not possess if not for the need to find it for you. I suspect that there will be many more parallels of this in our life ahead. I foresee a lot of interesting conversations in our cards.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I Have a Reader

I am a proud parent of a reader.

I don't know how it all works or how it all happens. All I know is that in a span of a couple of days we both were looking at the same book and the results could not have been any more different. The first time I had to do the reading as you  followed along and read out loud the words that you knew. Life continued as if nothing had changed. A couple of days later, while you were dead tired I might add, you started with the title and 45 minutes later and entire book was read!

I don't know what happened in your brain, what lightbulb went off that made the change. I love the fact that you have accomplished another milestone.  Since then TV and other activities have taken a backseat to your reading. You are reading books for breakfast, in the car, in school, when you get home, before bed... It is a never ending cycle of learning. I will encourage it, I will nourish it, I will push you. Reading is the key that opens worlds unknown.

Dr. Seuss' A Cat in a Hat, that was your first book read.

Monday, February 25, 2013

My "Thank You"

As parents we want the best for our children. We want them to have everything that we did not have. We want them to avoid the mistakes that we made. We want them to be the best they can be. We push, we pull, we dream, we slave, we work, we sacrifice. There are millions upon millions of parents who do what is necessary to raise their children. It is a thankless role. Many times kids do not appreciate, understand, or even care about the efforts being made. Society is too concerned with celebrities and who-knows-what to thank the parents for a job well done (which means that we get to have a better world to live in). 

I do not need a "thank you" or payment.

To me fatherhood is its own reward. I am blessed to have you in my life princess. I feel proud and honored to be called "Papi" by you. It is a role that I cherish and hold dear to my heart. Our relationship is a blessing to me. I get to see you grow, develop, experience the world in ways that I cannot remember doing myself. I am able to witness the miracle of life in every moment that I spend with you. That is my thanks, that is my reward. I pray that I am lucky enough to be here for a very, very, very long time to enjoy it in its many phases.

Love, 
Papi

Monday, February 4, 2013

Love Unseen

I love you more than you could possibly comprehend at this point in your life. You are too young to truly understand and see just how much I love you. It is not just words. It is not just deeds that you can witness. It is not things that you will find out about. The love a father has for his daughter goes well beyond that. It entails the thoughts, feelings, and dreams he has. For her. For himself. For his family. There are sacrifices made, unspoken, that the world will never know of. For such is the duty of a father. To love unconditionally. To love beyond what anyone can see. To love with their mind, heart, and soul. In many ways a father is like a guardian angel. You might not see him but know that he is always there.