You may not have come out of the well—I mean your mother’s womb—yet, but once you do, I will be right here waiting for you with open arms so I can envelop you in my arms that’s going to say it all: no one’s going to harm you, not while I’m around; I’ll be there for you; and I will always love you.
I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about fatherhood (how challenging it is to change poop-filled diapers, how it ends one’s social life, how you lose sleep—and sex), but I am not afraid. I am sure I can handle all those as long as you’re already here with me. I waited so long for you so I wouldn’t mind all the sacrifices I have to make in the name of parenthood, and I’ll make sure that I’m going to be the awesomest dad you’ll ever meet.
How exactly will I do this?
For starters, I will take on a second (and even a third) job, do overtime work, and get rackets (basically work my ass off) just so I can earn enough to provide you all that you need—and want. I will not just give you a place to live in, healthy food (and the occasional junk food too) to eat, and (fabulous) clothes to wear at the mall, I will also spoil you with books, toys, and other cool stuff. I am sure your smile would be enough to make me forget about their price tags. I will also teach you the value of sharing and generosity by asking you to donate some of your old toys to less fortunate children. And once you outgrow your toys, I will keep them for you, along with other souvenirs, so you can discover them one day when you’re already an adult, and have a blast getting really sentimental.
I vow to take very good care of you, my dear daughter. I will squish every fly or mosquito before they get to you. I will send dagger stares to the kids at the playground if they try to beat you to the swing or slide. I will post hate messages on your frenemies’ Facebook wall if I discover they’re backstabbing you. And those boys who plan to break your heart? I will break their bones.
I will teach you
I will make sure that you won’t grow up uneducated or stupid. I promise to answer all your questions, no matter how hard, and hopefully with the right answers. I will send you to good schools. I will teach you all that I know, and all that you need to know. I will even learn new stuff or relearn topics like chemistry just so I can teach you myself. Of course, there will come a time when you’ll need to make your own mistakes so you can learn on your own. Even if it will pain me to see you get hurt, I won’t stop it from happening because you will come out a better and stronger person after it.
I will let you be you, my little girl. As much as I want to play god and turn you into this cool and chic Lauren Conrad clone, I guess I have no choice but to let you be an artistic goth girl or a hippy chick if that’s who you really are. I will understand, accept, and support you if you turn out to be gay, bisexual or transgendered. I will still love you if your grammar or enunciation won’t be flawless sometimes (and then instantly correct you, of course). I will still love you even if you disappoint or hurt me (unintentionally, I hope), or if you don’t end up like me.
Most importantly, I will always show you how much I love you. I will hug you to bits all the time. I will shower you with kisses regularly. I will tell you that I love you every time. Even when we’re in public. Even on Facebook (if there’s still Facebook by that time). Even if you’re already a teenager who finds such cheesy and corny and annoying. I will never stop showing you my love because—cheesy as it sounds—you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I send flying kisses to God every day for giving me the privilege to be a father to you.
I can’t wait for you to arrive so I can wrap you in my arms. See you very soon, Sadako.
The author wrote this piece when he discovered that his girlfriend was pregnant with a baby girl (thanks to the Chinese calendar). He became a dad to Sadako last March 25.