Remember when we first met? It was early morning, it was mid-August, I was large and you were ready. You were beautiful, all blue eyes and big—impossibly big—cheeks. You were born, and we both cried. You, because you had suddenly and bravely plunged into a bright, strange world. Me, because in one instant all my hopes and joys and desires were unlocked and unleashed, poured out in big wet tears, in a cry from deep within, in a sound from myself I had never before heard—because it belongs to you and only you.
You make me want to become stronger, kinder, wiser so I can show you what it looks like when life is done well. You make me want to conquer time itself, so that I could rewind and relive all your sweet milestones, or fast forward so I don’t have to wait one more minute to see who you become, or pause. Mostly just pause. I want to stop and stare and marvel and savor this moment, any moment, every moment as long as you’re in it.
You’re the first person I’ve ever actually wanted to wear a matching outfit with.
I think about all the things I want to show you and teach you and tell you about. In no particular order: Ice cream. Bubbles. Swinging on a swing set. Tennis. I will teach you the chords I know on guitar but also get you real lessons if you want them.
But mostly my biggest job is to care for your heart, and prepare you for this world that can be exhilarating and terrifying and wonderful and shattering. There is no way I can anticipate every situation or protect you from every hurt or fear. The best thing I can do for you is work hard to make real to you how dearly you are loved and treasured. Not just by me and your daddy, but by God, who knit you together so lovingly and made you just right. I will never get over this blessing. I will never stop marveling at the fortune that you, dear sweet serene smiley Vale, are my little girl. I would have waited forever for you.
Guthrie is an anchor on NBC’s Today