Dear My Main Man,
I write to you because out of every helping hand I have received in this world, yours is the one with the most impact. You receive the least amount of credit and praise for the things you do. You’ve always stood back and let me shine or run in the rain knowing I always get caught up in a storm. You’re always stepping in when I call for you, knowing you can’t be more than a few feet away ready to comfort me in your arms as you have been doing for years. It’s time that light radiates on who you are and the love that you have shown me.
This letter has been written over and over in my head, on this page and many scraps of papers for years. Sometimes angry and spiteful, but most times with love and appreciation. As time went on it became more of a thank you and love letter. Either way, you were a learning experience.
[Read More: Reasons Why My Father is an Undercover Feminist]
You know what lights me up with love and joy is seeing your face when I walk into any room at any given time. I don’t even mean in a celebrity status-type of appreciation and love, because that would be demeaning. No, it’s much deeper than that. It’s the way your whole face lights up when you see my smile and your reaction to my giggles the minute I say hi. I’ve seen it many times even when you’re furious at me where you don’t even know what to do. Did you ever imagine a tiny 5’2” woman having that much power over your heart that you handed over 20 years ago?
In our culture, men don’t wish and pray for a woman or girl to come into their lives but you prayed for me. Most daughters are the replicate of their mother but I think I was a different package due to your prayers. Even my brothers say that I am the female version of you with all the good and bad. Growing up I don’t even think you expressed love towards my mother the way you loved me. Mother always says I can get you to jump off of a building if I wanted you to and make it seem like a good idea. It’s hard to accept anything less from a man when you have treated me as if I’m an ethereal creature from the heavens. Even on birthdays where you would leave to work early morning, I remember waking up with teddy bears, balloons and my favorite foods.
Thank you for helping me fall in love with being alive. Helping me pick flowers and read books and understand that life is so much more than a man. Thank you for understanding that I am different. Thank you for being patient as I broke and still breaking cultural barriers. Thank you for telling me that we are in America, a new generation where there is no difference in men and women and no one should ever tell me otherwise. I know it’s hard to have a crazy, stubborn, free-spirited and feminist as a daughter. I know that you are still learning but thank you for accepting that. I know I’ve put you through hell and all you do is sigh when I’m up to my next adventure but thank you for always loving me the same no matter what.
Fathers teach daughters many lessons about what it means to truly love and experience this life. One of the most critical moments are the ones where you can portray to young eyes beaming up at you the notion of how I should be treated. You are not perfect, but even with the bad you have taught me lessons and molded me. Dependable and trustworthy father figures are a scarcity today so for those of us blessed enough to be graced, we feel the strength of that presence. You watched me get my heart broken, my first accident and the many times I’ve fallen. Just to tell me to get up and move on with life because life doesn’t wait for us. Those images engraved into our memory and transferred into the heart as we grow into young women. We learn to love the way we were loved by you. You hold so much more power than you imagined as a man in his early twenties holding a small baby girl looking up with big hopeful brown eyes. I have expectations because that’s where you set the bar and anything lower than that you look at me questioning if I forgot that I am a mythical being.
You are the first man I have ever loved. You are the example of love from a male figure. You held me, played with me, supported me and let me grow. You gave me all I could have ever needed because you gave me a father’s love. By giving me or not giving me certain things you have taught me what love is and also what it isn’t. You showed me that it’s important to be strong, humble, classy and taught me to love myself enough to reach for any star I lay my eyes on.
One day you’ll walk me down the aisle to another man, chosen in the image of how you taught and want me to be loved. When I let go of your arm I hope you know that my heart is molded in the shape you have loved me. I hope you know that I’m never really letting go because daughters are always their daddy’s princesses no matter what. Thank you for holding my hand as I took my first steps as I plan to hold yours when you need my help to walk. I know that in my heart there is no love like the first love, and a part of me will always belong to you whether it is because of the blood we share or the piece of your heart that you gave me 25 years ago.
Your Little Princess