A lot of parents these days are taking time right when their child is born to write a letter for them to read in the future. That is all well and good, but really proved difficult for me for a variety of levels. But Kaitlyn is turning nine, and I figured it was a good time to write one (probably won’t be the last one I write to her, either).
Today, we celebrated your ninth birthday (a few days early) with a party that had a theme that fits you perfectly…”Wild ’70s.” As I have watched you grow and mature over these last nine years, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think back to the day you were born and smile.
What a special day that was, and a scary one, too. I will never forget the look on your mom’s face when she heard you cry for the first time, and I will never forget the fear that enveloped me soon after (more on that another time), and I will never forget sharing it with such a special group of people. A lot of people came to visit you in the hospital during the time we were there, and more came to visit after we brought you home. Before long, we looked around the house, and it was just the three of us, and our adventure was just beginning.
As a family, we have been through a lot over the last nine years, but we have been through it together every step of the way, and we are closer for it and better for it.
We had a lot of help along the way, especially from your “big sister” Jen. The impact that she has had, and continues to have on your life is profound, and we are forever grateful. She has helped us mold you into the amazing person that you are.
I was scared and nervous when you were diagnosed with Asperger’s, and those feelings have not gone away. While I am still scared for you everyday, I also have your back everyday, and do everything I can to ensure that your life is amazing. I do my best to help people understand you better, because I don’t want you changing for anybody.
I love that you are the person you are. I love that you have embraced being the little hippie child that you are. I love that you are so in love with dolphins that you are already planning on working with them when you get older; I have no doubt that you will make a tremendous difference in the world. I love that you are my “running buddy,” and look forward to running more races with you.
I couldn’t be more proud to be your dad, and I am proud of everything you do and everything you accomplish. Everything you have achieved so far in school keeps me beaming from ear-to-ear, and I can’t wait to share your accomplishments with anybody who will listen.
I know that we clash at times, but that is because we are more alike than we realize, and we know how to drive each other crazy sometimes; I wouldn’t have it any other way. Know that no matter what you do, you melt my heart easier than you realize.
I don’t know what the future holds for you, but I know that I can’t wait to find out. No matter what you decide to do in life, we will always support your decision (even when we don’t agree with it).
The last nine years have flown by, but they have been the best nine years of my life. I am looking forward to helping you grow and mature and become the tremendous young woman I know you will be (you are already well on the right track).
Be who you are, and don’t ever let anyone change you. You are a free spirit, and you are most certainly our “wild child.”