A Letter to Lila–Day Five Hundred and Thirty Something

My Dearest Lila,

I woke up before the sun, and stood by your bed side.  You slept gently.  I nudged your shoulder, “wake up my dear, it’s time to get ready for school.”  You rolled over while sweetly murmuring the words “ok, daddy.”  I placed your school clothes beside you, and said the usual “get dressed before I finish showering or no dessert for you after dinner.”  You complied, as usual–I’m pleased to say that your sweet tooth encourages you to be a good listener.  You usually are a great listener anyways, but sometimes we all need an incentive to do the right thing.

My incentive is you.

Today you have a Halloween parade at school—this year you wanted to be a cheetah—so a cheetah you will be.

I think back to the days when I was your age.  I think I was a ghost-buster for Halloween—maybe a ninja.  Your grandpa hand crafted my costumes.  He has always been a great father to me and your Aunts Katelyn and Michelle.

This year, on Halloween night, we’re all going to Trick or Treat together.  Me, your mom, your step-dad and your sister, Amelia—technically it is “my year” to have you for Halloween, but I thought we should all be together as a family.   Maybe they will extend the same courtesy to me next year—because after all, it’s not about us, it’s about you.  I think sometimes parents not living together can forget that fact.

You gave me a hug last week after soccer practice.  You wrapped your little arms around me, squeezed tight and said “I wish we could stay this way forever.”  I smiled and said “I do too.”  Little do you know that when you get older, you may not think I’m as cool as you think I am now—but hopefully you will always love me just the same.

I continue to stay sober for many reasons—and 99 percent of those reasons are because of you.  I want to be a stable provider with a clear mind and thought process.  I want to better remember our time together—and prolong that time by being healthier.  I don’t want to miss opportunities to spend quality time with you—when I was a drunk I was less motivated to get up, and get out of bed.  I want to set a good example for you—and not be that dad that drinks a lot of beer, or is always drunk.  I never want to put you in the way of harm by getting behind the wheel after drinking—and I never want to be the drunk that dies in a car wreck, or god forbid kills someone else.  I couldn’t imagine you living with that weight.

For me, I simply know it’s the right thing to do.  Not drink.  Though, doing the right thing isn’t always easy– I’m trying my best.

I will always try my best for you—and that is a promise.

Love always and forever,

Dad

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