On Being a Dad – My Promise to Gracie

A father’s job is to protect, encourage and celebrate his children. And on this, of all days, I celebrate my children for they alone make me who I am. Without them I am nothing more than a man, but it is through my children that I aspire to become so much more. You make me a Dad.

Just as the soil to a seed, as a father I’m there to offer you comfort and protection from the winds. As you grow I will offer nutrients, encouragement and a place to develop roots. And as you go out on your own I give you a foundation to branch out as you chose, always aware that I will hold you upright in even the strongest winds and weather. This is my promise to you – this is what fatherhood is all about.

I promise you that as a father my most important legacy is that which I create through you. Once born, my life is not my own, it belongs to you. I promise to be there for you, whether it be for support, praise or understanding. And although you might not listen, or my advice always be desired, I shall always be there to listen, to hold your hand when you stumble. Every action, every aspiration of my own shall be for you. And in the end, my proudest moment shall be when you succeed, which I have no doubt you will.

I promise to teach you integrity and honor. Even when it isn’t convenient I will demonstrate honesty to you in the hopes that you not only carry these ideals as your own but pass them on to your children for generations to come.

I promise to let you be the individual you strive to be, for it is this spirit that I love. I will not stifle, direct or force – instead I will teach, encourage and give you the very best foundation I am able to provide. I promise to be confident in your decisions and your direction, yet still never complacent and never quiet. I am and will always be your father and you expect more from me.

Finally, as your father I promise to offer you the greatest gift of all. That gift is the awareness and confidence to know that you can accomplish the impossible. In the face of every opposition and every challenge I want you to remain steadfast in your faith in yourself and what you can accomplish. I want you to never doubt yourself, your talents and your determination to succeed. And in the background, though I may not always be by your side, I want you to always hear me cheering for you because you are my greatest gift.

You are my daughter. You are my world. I love you.

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