For those of you who have been around E2 for awhile you’ll most likely remember my kid as some sweet young aspiring poet/writer who shined her little light here in the form of daylogs and whatever else crossed her mind. For those of you who were fortunate enough to actually meet her in person, I hope you took some of that light with you. I know I did and luckily for me it keeps glowing stronger every day.

Anyhow, the little one, well, lets just say she ain’t so little anymore. Over the years I’ve tried to chronicle some of our shared experiences and make sense of them in ways that other folks and readers could relate to. I hope I did both her and them some justice in that endeavor.

Next month she’ll be moving on from the school she’s called home for the last eight years and on to high school. In honor of this rite of passage the school she’s graduating from has requested that each parent write a letter to their kid expressing their hopes/dreams/wishes for them and for what the future holds in store. They even sent out samples of past letters from other parents to be used as either guideline or to jump start one’s imagination about what they want or expect from their kids. I read them with some passing interest but given our particular set of circumstances none of them seemed to serve their intended purpose. They all seemed to be written from the standpoint of so called traditional families where mom and dad lived together and assumed traditional roles. In our instance, that’s never been the case.

So here’s what I pieced together in a fit of nostalgia.

Dear Anna,

It seems like only yesterday that you and I first walked through the doors of St Joe’s when in fact it was over eight years ago. I remember holding your hand that very first day and asking you if you wanted for me to come inside to make sure that you got settled in and if you were going to be alright. Maybe it was an omen of things to come when you said it wouldn’t be necessary and that you would find your own way around. I remember standing outside with a mix of emotions running through my brain. The first one was a sense of worry, that I should have disregarded your thoughts and come inside with you just to make sure. In retrospect, I think maybe that was to calm my fears rather than yours. The second emotion I felt was a sense of pride in knowing that you were already fostering your sense of independence and self reliance which remains intact to this day.

And now we flash forward through those eight years that seem to have come and gone within the blink of an eye. So much has happened during that time that it seems like a blur to me. You’ve grown and matured from a child into a young woman that has such a strong sense of herself that I’m often brought to tears wishing that I could have some of those days back. Some might consider that selfish or self indulgent. Maybe it is but on the other side of the coin I see a young lady ready to go out and make her mark on the world.

As you get ready to leave the friendly confines of St Joe’s and embark on a bigger journey which I’m sure will be filled with all the twists and turns that make such journeys worthwhile, I’m confident that you’ll perform just fine on the larger stage. It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway. I’ll be here for you every step of the way.

I’d liken your experience at St Joe’s to that of preparing a good meal. It takes time, effort and planning and the rewards that you reap will be delicious to both yourself and those that share your table. I consider myself a very lucky man to have had a seat at that table.

My only advice is to take your experience with you. Learn from it, grow from it and cherish it for as long as you can for it’s our experiences that mold us into what we are and what we will become.

You’ve been given the same gift that most people receive at least once in their lifetime, especially in their youth. That gift is called “potential” and it’s not meant to be squandered. It’s meant to be nurtured and eventually, realized. The groundwork has been laid, the foundation is there and you are being called to build upon it.

So gather your tools, the ones that have already been bestowed on you here at St Joe’s and use them in your next venture to shape yourself into the person you want to become.

Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.” - Bob Dylan

It’s time to go feel the rain…

All my love, all the time,

Dad

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