Sorry to disappoint but this is not a gambling post.
This IS an open letter to my daughter on her birthday.
Why open? If I’m honest with myself, it’s mostly for selfish reasons. Bragging about a child is feels like bragging about yourself, regardless of how much (or little) you actually had to do with the outcome.
I’m going to say something that may sound like a back-handed compliment, but it’s not meant to be: you exceed expectations. THAT has as much to do with me as you. You see, if we switched places, I don’t think I’d be where you are. You may not believe it, but you’re more self-assured and self confident than I was at your age. I don’t tell you this enough, but I’m proud of how you’ve grow into yourself in college – setting goals and working towards them with resolve. I stumbled through majors like a lost hungry lion on LSD, in a field of red meat growing like wheat.
You’ve cultivated a network of college friends, acquaintances, and advisors to lean on when you need help. I wouldn’t have known the registrar’s office from a dentist’s office, if I hadn’t gone to college with 90% of my high school friends.
You’ve dealt with money shortages and the anxiety it brings, in addition to the challenges of a tough course of study, and excelled. I stopped going to a French class after only a week because I thought the professor was a dick. To be fair, I think I could have convinced a jury he deserved my scorn.
You have done these things. YOU. You’re yet another reason I’ve been extremely lucky in life. In the moment I didn’t always see things as easy, but with the benefit of hindsight I know they could have been much harder, and that’s because you were a good kid. You ARE a good person. Instinct (to some degree) leads us to love our children. We cherish you, our oldest child, because you have such a good heart.
Happy Birthday kid!