All of the firsts


Dearest daughter,

It’s hard to believe that only 365 days ago we welcomed your fragile being into our world. At the time, the sight of you was the most important thing to have ever been granted either of us, but I’m sorry to say that the mere sight of you has been overpowered and replaced.

For the past year, I have watched you experience a mountainside of firsts. First tear. First smile. First ice cream. And more recently, first steps, which were quickly lost behind your trampling feet.

Through each of these I could read the confusion hid in your eyes, the determination stained upon your brow, and the understanding written in your smile. Witnessing your journey has allowed me the chance to see that world of firsts for a second time, now with the knowledge of years. And what I have learned through those comedies and tragedies is that it is not the image of you I most treasure.

Instead, I treasure above all else the soul that outward image projects, that swift and certain soul bounding along within from one joy to another, one sorrow to the next, always thirsty for more. I cherish not the smile plastered on the external wall, but the smiling painter inside mixing the colors to perfection and deftly letting her masterpiece breathe.

I know the words through the nearly 300 posts on this blog are at times more obscure than straight-forward, more veiled than comprehensible, but the journey you have set before me is so full of wonders that the words themselves are nowhere near adequate. But if there is one thing I have tried to make as defining as possible, it is that you are my center, the beginning and end of my circle. Without you, there is only a vacuum. With you, there is never enough space.

Happy first birthday, dearest daughter. If I could I would give you the world and time itself, but my power allows me to offer only my love, as endless as the stars and as deep as the unknown. I only hope it will be enough.

Your father.




Filed under Words

6 responses to “All of the firsts

  1. Blaine Verley

    David, your daughter is truly blessed to have a father like you. Give her a birthday kiss from me, a father to four daughters, and as humbly inadequate to the task after all these years as I was hopeful at the beginning of each of their separate odysseys. Your posts are so touched by your love. I am touched by each one.

    • Thank you so much for your words. I imagine that you are a great father, but it is also a father’s job to feel inadequate to the task. Daughters are our princesses, and nothing could ever be truly worthy of them, least of all is fathers. Thank you, Mr. Verley, for your kindness and for reading.

  2. Beautiful. Made me think about what my my dad might have been thinking on my first birthday back in 1964. I doubt those kinds of thoughts change much through the ages.

  3. gerald parnell

    what a beautiful poem,I look for word to the next year of her journey..

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