This letter is written from the unrealistic perspective of an adolescent daughter.
I've been thinking about my future lately, I sure hope you have too! You know, parenting is a full time job. I'm sure you know that but sometime you don't seem to act on it. I need you involved everyday of my life. You may think that Mom has me handled since we are both girls but dad what you don't realize is that while Mom really does play a large role in my life, it has been said that you play the greatest role ever in my life. I need you to be committed, not just verbally committed like saying "yeh yeh, i'm here for you". Being there and fulfilling your obligations are two different things. Most dads come home every night and say they are being there, but the good ones make an appoint to be home on time or early so they can assure me that i'll spend quality time with you. Dad, stop chasing the dollar and start chasing me! Stop trying to please every business associate you know and start trying to just make me feel loved, daily. I'll only be little once and for some of my older peers that time is slipping away faster and faster as they grow up. Dad, you need to teach me everything you know and instill in me the values that made you who you are! I need to know how to pray, how to read the Bible, what is acceptable speech, who are acceptable friends, I need you to read to me and sit with me, pray with me and laugh with me, I need you to create such an amazing relationship with me that I would not think of making a life decision without first talking to you. That amazing relationship will bloom into mutual amazing respect when i'm a teenager and beyond. But Dad, you need to wake up! That maintenance on our relationship should have started when I was in the cradle. It's not too late now, dad, it will just take some hard dedicated work and some time. I don't want to be one of those girls who decides to run off and get married and you are scratching your head wondering where you went wrong. Or out of the blue I leave the Faith I was raised with leaving you in shock. Dad, you need to be constantly teaching and explaining things to me. You learned them over your 20,30,40 or so years and you only have a few to teach them to me. Don't give me a lame excuse that you don't have anything to talk about. You've been around a lot longer than I have! But remember dad, listen closely now, 'you can't learn anything while you are talking to me'. I want you to know me inside out. You need to sit, listen and admire the simple innocence that I am at this young age. Listen to what is important to me and take an interest in that. Don't get me wrong, I want to hear what you have to say too, but you will always have those same words, I am growing up fast. Sit with me dad, every night by my bed and let me talk, listen, take it in and admire the beauty that is your daughter who loves you unconditionally. I need to have firm convicted teaching ingrained in me as truth and normal so that when a new idea or new way of thinking comes along or someone challenges my faith or tries to lead me astray I have something to base my opinions and decisions on. Dad, you don't want some guy to come into my life and just indoctrinate me with all his views and philosophies do you? I need to know how and what I believe, firmly, before anyone tries to show me abother way. It will happen if you don't invest the time in me now to teach teach teach and enjoy each other's company. I need a reference point for all things true when I get into my teenage years. I will easily be lead astray if you don't help me dad. Teach me, love me, hold me, kiss me, hug me, date me, listen to me and don't stop any of this as long as we both shall live. Make me a promise dad! All of us young girls have it born in us to seek out the company of a man. Dad, this HAS to be you!! If you don't teach us and show us, we won't know whats right and wrong and will seek out another boy that you don't approve of and is bad news for me. I won't know that sex outside of marriage is a bad thing but saved for marriage is a beautiful thing. I won't know that I should not drink alcohol or smoke! I won't know to avoid people of bad influence and to think of my spiritual well being before the simple feelings of others. I won't be able to recognize peer pressure and know that it can be a very bad thing when I run with the wrong crowd. I won't know that as a teenager it is possible to make some very bad decisions that can adversely affect me for the rest of my life! I won't know that sleeping around is wrong. I won't know that it's dangerous to be dating at 15 years old. I won't know what kind of language is acceptable. I won't know a lot of things if you don't teach me dad because if you don't teach me, another boy will. Dad, if you don't create that awesome open and respectful relationship now, I won't feel comfortable going to you for advice, especially when it's something I know you won't be happy about. And if I lack a relationship with you it will most likely be a boy that will lead me down a bad path and possibly to destruction. Dad, also, when I do something that disappoints you please try to stop, think then respond so that I'm not constantly getting grounded or yelled at and slowly a wall of resistance is built that I don't feel like climbing over every time I want to talk to you. Dad, if you raise me right, with respect and love, I will have so much admiration, love and respect that I will not even think of a boyfriend until I'm 18... or 25. I know my friends will be talking about boys their whole life because their parents put those thoughts in their heads, but not you dad, teach me right, please. Dad, I need you, all of us little girls need our dads but it seems that most of our dads are not listening. They say they are, they look like they are, but they are not. When one of my friends grows up, meets a guy, and conforms her life to his including his wrong spiritual views, her dad can't be surprised, after all, he was not there! Dad, don't neglect me. I need you, a lot and often. What are you saying by your actions is more important than me? Your job, your money, your friends, your hobbies, my brothers, helping others? There are many things that you can put ahead of me and while they are 'good' in themselves, if you neglect me while you are doing them, they are wrong! I need you, I am your first priority, I get you first, last and always. If I fail you it's most likely because you failed me first. Don't get it twisted dad, your charity starts at home. In so many words, dad, I am asking you to put your life on hold while I grow up. If you fail in this I will make decisions that will cause you much disappointment and heartache. I will not do those things to hurt you, but simply because this is the life you handed me. My life is in your hands dad, do not let me down, I'm counting on you. Dad, I'm 3 years old, who else can I run to??
P.S. My brothers need you too. I'll try to talk them into writing to you sometime...