My Dearest Esmé,
You were not quite eight months old. We had gone camping at the beach with another family, and 10-year-old Rudolph had been attentive all weekend, helping you navigate the sandy terrain between tents, eating spots, and meeting spots. He didn’t even complain as you dragged him around by the nose.
At the end of the weekend, inspired by who-knows-what, you crawled your way over to Rudolph, grabbed his face with your hands, and planted a big wet toothy smacker on his lips.
We all chuckled at this, your first boy kiss. And Rudolph, normally rosy-cheeked, glowed an even brighter red as he ran from the scene.
You’ve repeated this scenario with other boys you’ve managed to catch, some more willing than others. And we’ve chuckled repeatedly.
As your kisses move from the innocence of childhood to the inquisitiveness of adolescence to the intensity of adulthood, I have many dreams for you. Dreams of scent-laden spots in lush forests with water cascading in the background. Sweet kick-your-feet-in-the-air moments. Handsomeness at its best. Gentlemanly courtesies. Exciting romantic interludes in innovative settings. A prince on a white horse (or in a red Mercedes). Tropical beaches with coconut palms, white sand, and aqua waters. Softly falling snow.
My prayer for you is simple, though.
It’s not that God would protect you from pain, for that would mean a hardened heart. It’s not for eternal innocence, for that would mean a life not fully lived. It’s not even for the perfect man, because no man can completely fulfill you – only God can do that.
My prayer is for no regrets.
Live passionately. Laugh exuberantly. Love wholeheartedly. Be wise, but hold nothing back. You will have low lows, but they will be compensated by incredible highs. At the end of the day, your life will not be perfect, but you will know that if you had to do it all over again, not knowing the future, you wouldn’t change a thing.
You’ll have no regrets.
I love you, baby girl. You are my reason for no regrets.
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