An open letter to one special little lady. Maybe one day when you read this, you’ll see things in a different light and it’ll all make some kinda sense.

All my powers of expression
and thoughts so sublime
Could never do you justice
in reason or rhyme
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi
a day too long

Christmas season is once again upon us and as is my tradition of late, I find myself in a quandary over what to get my not so little girl to bring a smile to her face.

It used to be so easy back when you were small. It was as if any kind of toy or game would do. It didn’t have to be the latest rage or fashion or something that everybody else had. Simplicity ruled the day and since we were both simple back then, life was a breeze.

But I guess when you hit thirteen, things ain’t quite so simple anymore.

Walking through the leaves,
falling from the trees
Feeling like a stranger
nobody sees
So many things that we never will undo
I know you're sorry,
I'm sorry too

Yeah, maybe I’m stuck in the past. It seems like only yesterday when I held your hand when we crossed the street. Now you fly out the door as if you had wings on your feet.

If it’s any consolation, I still watch you until you’ve turned the corner and worry about you until you get home.

And at times, I’m just as confused as you are.

Some people will offer you their hand
and some won't
Last night I knew you,
tonight I don't
I need somethin' strong
to distract my mind
I'm gonna look at you
'til my eyes go blind

Things change so fast when you’re thirteen. Your body doesn’t seem to fit anymore and your outlook on life teeters somewhere between optimism and cynicism. Best friends seem to come and go on a whim and a word and sometimes thirteen can seem like the loneliest place in the world.

Believe it or not, I know, I was there…

We all were.

So how do I go about trying to explain that?

Maybe I can’t but one things for sure, rest assured, I ain’t going anywhere.

Well my ship's been split to splinters
and it's sinking fast
I'm drownin' in the poison,
got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary,
it's light and it's free
I've got nothin' but affection
for all those who've sailed with me

Sometimes I think that in your short time here, you’ve seen too much. I’ve put you through things that nobody your age deserves to see. There were too many trips to the hospital and too many times where we had to do without.

It’d be easy to say I/we were just victims of circumstance and shift the blame off somewhere else. That’d be the easy way out. But I’m here to tell ya, a lot of those instances were avoidable. There was a lot of shit I’m sorry you had to see.

Everybody movin'
if they ain't already there
Everybody got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby,
stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting
right about now

So where do I go from here? How do I hold on and let go at the same time? How do I be “the cool dad” while at the same time be “the good dad”? How do I look at you as a little lady when all I can see is a little girl?

As for you, how do you test the boundaries without crossing too far over them? How do you remain “the good girl” without breaking some rules? How do you look at me without seeing some kind of relic from the past?

Yeah, it’s gonna be interesting alright.

I can’t wait!

I hope you can’t either…

Merry Christmas little girl…

(Selected lyrics lifted from Bob Dylan’s tune called Mississippi Copyright © 1997 Special Rider Music)

CST Approved

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