Our guest post today is from Dan Locke, father to two boys, Samuel and Peter (with another on the way). Dan is the children’s pastor at Broadway Christian Church. He and his wife, Jessica, live in Mesa, AZ. This is his third post for The Dad Letters. You can view his other posts HERE and HERE.
Dear Samuel and Peter,
There’s currently a series on YouTube called the Art Assignment. (Is YouTube still a thing?) In a nut shell, the Art Assignment interviews an artist of some sort and asks them to give a prompt for others to follow in making a form of art. They define “art” pretty loosely as some kind of a trigger for an experience (You can check out the channel here). Most of the assignments are fairly simple and inexpensive, and (not that I consider myself an artist by any stretch of the imagination) I thought that this week’s video was a decent one for me to attempt. Here’s the specific assignment:
Just in case YouTube went belly-up, the assignment is to articulate in some way something that you have never seen and likely never will see. I’m going to cheat a little bit on this one a say “experience” instead of “see.”
We just found out a few days ago that we’re going to have another boy. You guys will have a younger brother to pick on, who will tell on you, and with whom you can share all the manly adventures you choose to exclude your mother from. This means that it’s likely I will never get to experience having a daughter, for several reasons. For one, it’s possible we’ll be done having kids after you three, not that we wouldn’t be happy if the surprise came along. But even if we did have a surprise fourth, statistically it’s highly unlikely it would be a girl. I can’t quote the exact numbers (though your mother probably could), but for families with at least two boys, and even more for three, the chances are itty bitty that a fourth would turn out to be female.
So with that nice long introduction, what I’m trying to say is, the rest of this letter is going to be directed towards my imaginary daughter, whom I’ll likely never get to meet. (All of you dads who have real daughters, feel free to start snickering at my ignorance now).
Dear imaginary daughter,
I want you to know one thing right off the bat. You are beautiful. And I can’t tell you enough how little your physical appearance has to do with how beautiful you are. You are a unique creation of the most incredible artist the world has even known. There will be times in your life (maybe you’ve already experienced them) where you won’t feel this way. You’ll think you’re ugly. You’ll think you’re worthless. You might even think no one loves you. When those times happen, I hope I’ll be around to tell you otherwise, but if I’m not, hopefully you’ll at least have this letter. You need to know that I love you more than any other human could possibly love you. And God loves you even more than that. I guess that’s about all. I hope that puberty thing is going ok if that’s where you are in life right now. Also, please stop leaving your shoes all over the house. Between you and your mother I can’t seem to walk more than two feet without tripping over footwear.
Now boys, I don’t want you to think in any way that I wish I had a daughter instead of one of you. That would be the silliest thing in the world. There’s no one else I would rather have as my children than you three dudes. But here’s what I want you to take from this letter. There’s going to be a time when you’ll start looking at girls differently than you do right now. You’ll start to see them in a way that makes you feel goofy inside. (As an aside, let’s hope that day is in the very, verrrrrrrry distant future). When that day comes, I want you to remember that the girl you’re looking at, or having dinner with, or bringing over to meet me and your mom, she has or has had a dad out there somewhere. And it’s really likely that her dad feels about his daughter the way I might feel if I had a daughter. She is a precious, beautiful and unique individual. And you sirs, need to treat her in a way that honors that. Maybe you’ll feel like there’s no way anyone could love her more than you do. But someone has, and it’s probably her dad. Even if it isn’t her dad, it’s definitely God. I want you to try to beat God at loving that special girl. It won’t be every one of them you see. But hopefully, you’ll meet that one girl. And I want you to try to out-love God. Because she’ll be worth it, and she’ll deserve it.
I love you guys,
P.S. For serious though, you don’t need to worry about girls at all right now. Fart it up my sons. Fart it up.