Our little girl turned one today. 

In fact, it’ll be in just a couple hours that she’ll officially be one year old.

I wanted to take a minute to reflect on this year and write some thoughts down about being a dad. They’re sort of for Emma, but I want to share because it’s important. 

Dear Emma, 

  • On the night you were born I was scared to be a dad. 
  • On many nights since then, I have also been scared to be a dad. 
  • While I knew I loved you so much from before you came, I had to grow into knowing it. 
  • I didn’t think I was much of a dad until I could make you smile. 
  • During your first year, I had to think about what life would be like as a single dad once, and it broke my heart. 
  • Once I could make you smile, we started falling in love. 
  • While it may seem unfair and pointless later on, I will never regret that we took you to Disney World when you were a little baby. 
  • The fact that you like me changing your clothes best helps me feel like I’m doing something right as a dad.
  • Anytime you smile when you see me—it reminds me of when your mom does that, and it makes my heart happy.
  • The light in your eyes fills up the room, and everyone can tell you’re just the most excellently intelligent little one. 
  • I’ve learned so much about forgiveness and love from your tender little heart. 
  • When you let me hold you and snuggle into my shoulder, I feel more like the strong, good dad I’m working to become. 

These are twelve little things I want you to know about from your first year here, and they’re the thoughts and feelings of an imperfect, real dad who doesn’t always have a cape on like Superman. 

I’m so glad you can love me even when I’m not much of a dad, and that with you I feel like I can be more of one. 

Love, 

Dad.