September 11 – to my daughter

49/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. 22 years ago on this day, my first child was born. I had just turned 28 in the summer and started a brand new full-time teaching job on the Tuesday and my baby daughter Natasha was born the following Saturday. The moment of her birth is etched permanently into my mind – I was the first person she saw and I was in shock, joy, awe, and fear all at the same time. As she got older, she was always interested in learning and figuring things out. She also had a sense of herself from the very get-go and has been a feisty one putting me in my place from a very young age. Although I’d like to think I have been an amazing father, in the last few years, I know I have not. I have let my own personal issues cause a dark and heavy shadow over our relationship and have not been there for her as I should have been. I have let my emotions get the best of me and not be that great father to her that that she deserved – I should have been putting my child’s needs and emotions before mine. Through counseling over the last year and a bit, I have learned a lot about myself and how to talk/relate/acknowledge/affirm/love the people closest to me and have come to realize that I have taken them for granted. I thought being the “cool” father was what she wanted but I didn’t ask her what she wanted. I have said things and done things in the last few years because of my own insecurities and lashed out at her that I have not apologized for and I want to take this post to truly say to my daughter how sorry I am for all the things I’ve done to upset you and cause a rift in our relationship. You are the world to me – I know it doesn’t seem that way as my actions of late haven’t shown that but I truly am grateful to have you as my daughter and am extremely proud of you. You are a wonderful young woman who is amazingly intelligent, have a great sense of humour, girl next door beauty and are a loving daughter and sister. I am very thankful that you are my child and I hope that we can work on building our relationship when you are ready. I love you Natasha – Happy Birthday.

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