Daddy Diaries :: A Letter to My Little Valentine

A letter to my (little) valentine,
I figure we’ll have a baker’s dozen before I have competition.
On our first fourteenth, you are mine to hold, to kiss and to cuddle.
But you are not my first, nor my only this year.
Your mommy is first, and you my second.
You, my girls. How you have changed me.

My life before you will fade into my life with you, your experience will be affected by but free of those that have shaped me. To you I will first be daddy.

While pacing in the middle of the night together I realized all the moments that will remain unknown to you, as it was with my parents when I was young. These moments have bound me to you in countless ways, and my love for you, little valentine, finds no shore.

There are conversations ahead, of love and beauty, identity and meaning.
And I hope that by being your daddy I can help provide tools to navigate the waters ahead.

But I know I will fail you. I will ask for your forgiveness time and again, for you will bear the scars of my growth as a father, as I yours as a daughter, my valentine. Our hearts are intertwined.

Your mother and I do the best we can, and at times that will not be enough. We live with the truth that we are prone to err, but that there is help to realize it and change. As you grow, so do we. I’m not looking forward to asking you to forgive me when I say the wrong thing, but I know I will. When you know the right word and wound instead of heal, know that nothing you can do will change my love for you, little valentine.

The world will draw your tears and break your heart. It cannot bear the weight of the expectation you will put on it, nor can any relationship a February might bring you.

This world has changed much in my 30 years. It will ask more of you than of me, more compromise, less discipline, more devotion to yourself than others. Do not listen. Your worth is found in no man, achievement or discipline. It is greater and deeper, found in older roads.

But the world is also a beautiful place that speaks of the true and the good. Your heart is meant to sing. So delight, my little, in the days given and the Providence that carries you. Cultivate gratitude for the gifts in your possession, not disappointment at those you lack.

Every night I ask for decades with you, little valentine. I want to see you grow, and watch your mother grow with you. I am so proud to call you my girls. But with each asking, there is gratitude in my heart for the gift of another day with you both. It’s more than I deserve.

I love you, little valentine.


Carly is a stay at home mom to her daughter, Piper, and wife to a Fort Worth native, Mason. She loves making lists, long runs, warm coffee cuddled up on the couch, and a nice afternoon sitting on the patio chatting with friends.


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