". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Love Letter for My Daughter

In recent years as my daughter has turned into a young lady, people occasionally mistake us for one another (usually it's if they see me from behind or at a distance, not close up!). Caitlin and I are about the same size (although I think she has now barely passed me up in height) and we can share shoes and some of the same clothes. We both have rather full faces and lips and wavy hair. I take it as a compliment when people tell me we look alike because my daughter is absolutely gorgeous.

We also share some other similarities. Caitlin is a word girl like me. She is a reader, writer and musician. She thinks deeply. She is a little clumsy and not terribly athletic. She doesn't have a very good sense of direction (sorry honey--wish you had taken after your father in that area).

But in many ways my daughter and I are very different and as I consider those differences I find that the things about her that sometimes "challenge" me are also the things that I most admire about her. Here are a few examples.

My daughter is a dreamer. Her mind wanders easily but when it wanders it is often because she is pondering huge, profound and pivotal questions. She cares about the Big Ideas of life and she values truth, goodness and beauty. She is not only a musician and writer but also an artist. She is creative in a way that I am not. She can think outside the box and imagine something where there was nothing. I need people and events to write about; in her writing she creates not just people and events but whole worlds!

My daughter is not particularly task-oriented. She is easily distracted. But I wish sometimes I were more easily distracted. She takes time, if you will pardon the cliche, to smell the roses. And play with the bugs. And dig in the mud. And wish upon stars.

My daughter is not afraid to get her hands dirty. She does not avoid things because they might make a mess. Sometimes I wish she would notice and address the mess a little more than she does. ;-) But I could learn from her that life is meant to be lived, not cleaned and organized and put away.

My daughter is comfortable in her own skin. She is not a clothes horse or fashion maven or shopaholic. Actually, neither am I. But I admire that she worries little about appearances, hers or anyone else's, knowing that what makes people who they are is not what's on the outside, but what's on the inside.

My daughter is one of the most kindhearted and compassionate souls I have ever known. She is also highly moral and concerned with living a life of integrity. Sometimes the preceding two characteristics cause her to worry to excess, a trait I suppose she did get from me. Sorry about that one, too, honey.

And finally, my daughter is someone who is passionate about her passions and who pursues them passionately. :-) (By the way, she gets that from her father.) She doesn't walk through the house (how boring): she bounces, runs, and skips! Sometimes in the midst of it all certain things get overlooked or forgotten. Or broken. :-D But it is only because her heart is busy dreaming and her brain working and her soul embracing all that life has to offer. The overlooking and forgetting and breaking are things that she is working on. But you know what? If I had to make a choice, I would rather have a daughter who tramples a few plants as she's making her way through the forest than one who can't see the forest for the trees.

I love you, Caitlin. Thank you for being the kind of daughter I always dreamed of and the kind of person I am honored to call friend. Oh, and happy 16th birthday! ♥


Anonymous said...



Leah said...


So much of what you said describes the new realm I am entering with my daughter this past year or so, and it is only the beginning for us. It is exciting (scary, nerve-racking, awesome, wonderful...) to think about the woman my daughter will be and the friendship we will share in years to come.

I don't know who's growing more through our relationship - her or me!

Great post.

Dave Lambert said...

Hppy Belated Birthday to Caitlin!