Best of 30POV: Open Love Letter to My Daughter
“Best Use of Sentimentality”(Though, this is obviously a 40-something trait…)
I recently hit a milestone in my life, aside from turning forty last January, my wife and I had a child on June 9th. She is a beautiful, diabolical little creature named Sylvie Juno Pasquarelli, as in from the woods, where we made her after all.
As you can imagine I have been a bit busy so despite wanting to write something truly inspiring about poetry or perhaps act really erudite and offer a critique of Walt Whitman as a Buddhist (See “Song of Myself”). Instead, I have written an open letter to my daughter in case I should meet an early demise.
In the interest of full-disclosure I have to tell you that I do not like babies; you are noisy, needy and really put a clamp on my free time. Yet, I love you in a way that is greater than I could ever truly express with words. When I met your mother I never thought I could love someone enough to spend my life with her but she proved me wrong. Of the two of us, your mother is the better person and she has made me better. I think you are beautiful and I will call an ugly baby ugly, but what I think doesn’t matter. You should never base your self-worth on someone else’s opinions or views.
There are some guidelines that I want to give you to use in your life in case anything should happen to make me unavailable when you need this information.
Be honest and live with integrity.
Be loyal always to family and friends but family always comes first.
Live with honor and defend it when necessary.
Think for yourself and question everything.
Seek truth and beauty in life.
Have fun always.
Read books, especially novels and poetry but remember that poetry is all around us, it is a walk in the woods or on the beach at dawn.
Stand up for what you believe in and always follow your own path.
Strive to be the best at whatever you do.
Remember that life is short and enjoy each day.
Sylvie, you have truly increased my capacity for love and sacrifice. When you were born it felt as if the Doctor held my heart in his hands and, in a way, he did. When he placed you upon the scale there was a throb in my chest and tears in my eyes. I may not be Superman or a comic book hero but I will always be your protector. I will love you always.
I was walking in Ravenswood Park in Gloucester the other day and thinking about my daughter and where I come from and how the environment shapes who we are so I leave you with this.
Land of sea and stone
boulder strewn forests
swamp and saltmarsh
mark your geography,
Morning fog obscures
Granite faces chiseled
are evidence of
the stoneman’s hammer
The pulse of her personality
courses through our veins.
Shaping my views,
Root from which I grew.
In good times and bad,
I always come home.