Dear little one,
You have about a month and half left in your mother’s womb, and you’re all I think and talk about. Your mom and I were sitting in bed together when the doctor called to tell us you were going to be a little girl. Our lives changed forever in that moment, and I realized how unprepared I was to be your dad. So while you’ve been doing your part getting ready to meet us, I’ve been doing the same.
Ever since we learned about you, I’ve started noticing little girls everywhere. In airports and restaurants, I can’t help but approach parents and ask, “How old is your daughter?” Your mother and I have been eating breakfast every Tuesday at a spot across the street from a ballet studio. We watch dads sit down with their daughters for breakfast after class, and I melt at the thought of doing the same with you. It doesn’t have to be ballet. It can be soccer, archery, whatever excites you, as long as we can get pancakes after.
I’ve been reading everything I can about relationships between fathers and daughters. Apparently, we’re about to forge one of the best bonds there is to be had on this earth. I’ve read that the way I treat you will impact your relationships with every other person in your life. That you’ll be watching me, even when I think you’re not, and that I’ll set an essential example. If I’m honest, loving and encouraging, you’ll know how you deserve to be treated. It’s a lot of pressure, little one. Simply knowing that you’re coming soon has inspired me to take a closer look at my flaws. I hope I can show you the best parts of myself. I hope you can learn from me to expect the best from all the people you choose to become close with, and never to settle for anything less.
Every opportunity I get, I ask the women I meet the same question: “When you were growing up, what were the best and worst things about your dad?” Sometimes their eyes light up, because they’re about to tell me about their favorite person. Sometimes they get quiet, trying to think of something nice to say. Many of my friends and colleagues have told me how much it meant that their dads included them in activities like watching basketball games and fixing things around the house, and how much they appreciated never being boxed into a stereotype. That’s what I want to do for you. I never want you to feel limited, little loved one.
But so many others have said, “I wish he’d been around more.” As a touring musician, this has been terrifying for me to hear. Panic is rising in my chest as I write this, but I promise you: I will not let you down. I’ll fly to you. Sometimes you’ll fly to me. We’ll talk on the phone and video call each other whenever we’re apart. I will always be someone you can count on. In the words of Bob Dylan, “Nothing that I wouldn’t do, go to the ends of the earth for you, to make you feel my love.”
We have just about six weeks left to keep preparing for each other. You keep doing your thing — growing, getting stronger, becoming you — and I’ll keep doing mine. There are so many goals I want to achieve in this life, little one. But from this moment forward, I have one single, life-defining hope: In 30 years, when someone asks you about your dad, your eyes will light up.
Andy Grammer is a singer-songwriter and father-to-be.