May 13, 2011
To Charlotte, on the day of her birth,
I have no idea what kind of woman you’ll be when you grew up, but I can guess. You are a calm baby and a friendly child who likes to be held. I am guessing you will be a loving person when you’re older.
You spent much of your first few hours looking around, taking it all in. You looked us in the eye when we talked to you. I suspect you’ll be an intelligent, inquisitive woman who likes to learn.
And I already love you, as I have from before the moment I saw you emerge (white and slimy!) from your mother.
Your mother and I are quite fatigued right now, as you might guess, so I can’t give you any magical platitudes about the person I hope you’ll be. But I do know that I never want you to lose that desire to learn new things. I do know I want you to continue showing the compassion and affection you already show. I also know I want you to try to do something for the good of the many, to be a person dedicated to moving the entire human race forward.
I’m almost 40 as I write this. By the time you’re the age I am now, I will be an old man (if I am around at all). But I am sure you’ll make me feel like my youth was well spent, even if it was all something that just led to my guiding you.
I’m hoping and trusting that I will be there to give you that guidance and that I will be around for all your important milestones. I know I will try. I also know that I will make mistakes. Whatever our relationship is like when you’re older, I want you to know that right here, right now, you and your brother are my crowning achievements.