It has been a strange journey.
Before you came along I had experienced many kinds of love; the love of a child for my parents and theirs for their child, the love of my friends, the love of a good woman (and sadly the love of a bad woman but we'll skip that bit until you're older, maybe 40 or so). But here is a new thing for me; the love of a father for his child.
I am your protector, your provider, your teacher, your taxi driver, your chef and your personal bath attendant. Later I will be your advisor and likely your clown; when your friends are around, your eternal embarrassment. Bike riding and car driving instructor, maths teacher and technology support. I will be the builder of your dolls house or of your castle Greyskull, your bedtime story reader and the vanquisher of whatever you think is lurking under your bed.
Your nurse whenever you fall ill and your scourge when you misbehave.
I will teach you how to fight and win, how to cook, how to hammer a nail in straight and keep perpendicular a percussion drill, how to wire a plug and work with a mitre block. I will show you how to to be honest and true but also to flatter and deceive and inculcate in you the ability to know which is right. How to joke and entertain, how to convey severity, how to argue and not be shouted down.
I cannot teach you how to dress well or dance until giddy, but you have gay uncles for that. I will not try and relive my life through yours but will match your enthusiasm for anything with facilitation and praise.
I may not be able to do all of the above for you.
I promise though, that you will always know the love of a father for his daughter.
Unconditional and unwavering.
So for all the times to come ahead, remember only this - when you were born I gave a piece of my heart and self to you.
It will be yours for eternity, my daughter.
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