Disclaimer: I wrote this right around my daughter’s 3rd birthday. I tinkered with it a bit, and edited it, considered keeping it just for her. But, ultimately I decided to allow it to live in my archives here, and be something my daughter can read and appreciate when she’s older.
Happy 3rd Birthday, Ava!
I’m absolutely amazed at how fast this year went for you. From the age of 2 to 3 you have grown in more ways than I even realize. You are kind, and generous. As an only child (so far at least) you already know how to share so well. Your joy for life and the world is infectious. You are also shy, like daddy was as a little boy. You have taught both of us a lot about life and living.
Being a little kid is really interesting. You know more stuff than you are given credit for, yet the world doesn’t need to make sense for you yet. You know who is important in life and that is of course Mommy first then Daddy, after that comes Ya Ya, and then there is your Poppy and then Aunt Jess and Aunt Tina, along with Cousin Khalan and Brianna and Uncle Emmerson. There’s also all of the relatives that I have along with Mommy’s whole side of the family. It’s amazing you haven’t met your Uncle Clayton and his family yet, but you will soon!
When you are older you will read this and it will remind you of how much you are truly loved and cherished. In all likelihood you will have a ton of questions about how life works and how you came to have a family like the one you have. This letter is for you to have peace of mind rather than trying to make sense of this crazy world we live in.
3 is a wonderful age. My dad, your Poppy told me he remembers stuff at 3, and chances are there are things at this age that you will share with me and mommy that you remember happening. For those things that made you most happy, all I can say is “your welcome”. For those things that made you sad all I can say is “your welcome” because at least you have a reference point for what makes you happy. I will give you this caveat, I am sorry for those times that made you sad that were within my control. There are times where I have been childish and have had arguments with mommy which not only isn’t good for you to see, but takes precious time where I could just be having fun with you. And you are after all consistent of mommy’s DNA and mine. For that reason you can rest-assured and know that mommy and I always do and always will love each other, because if we never met or been together we would have never been so blessed to have you. And you are the greatest blessing we ever had.
I’m really proud of you, Ava. In car rides and random times that I’m just talking to you, I tell you that you are a remarkable individual. And that you should always remember that you are up to great things and that nobody will stop you. Because there will be people that try. And that’s not because they are bad people, but it’s because they lack self-belief or they have preconceived notions about the world that is self-limiting. That’s not your problem. Focus on you. Live your best life, where you are inspired each and every day. This will consequently inspire others so they too can believe in themselves the way you believe in yourself and the way mommy and I believe in you! Protect this with all your might. Cherish this. Doubt will creep in, but that’s okay. Letters like this are reminders to you, of your greatness and how it has permeated the world even at the young and tender age of 3.
Also, not to tell you something you will almost definitely figure out by 18 if not 16, or maybe even 14…but, you will deal with heartbreak. It might be over a crush you might have, or not getting into some type of program you really wanted to go to or you might get confronted with the reality of mortality in life. Remember, that “Yes, heartbreak sucks”. And yes its okay to cry about it. But, no it’s not productive to feel sorry for yourself for too long. Because, nobody else will and if they do, that’s not the best medicine to overcome whatever is keeping you down. So in those times, allow yourself a good cry or two (maybe even 3) and surround yourself with loving people that support what you are up to (mommy and daddy come first in this category) so you can more easily pick yourself back up and keep moving forward. Don’t get stuck in one place for too long. We as humans were born to evolve and adapt and that’s what we do. And you are a Jacobs and a DeGallerie, and we know how to be resilient, yet also loving and warm and compassionate.
From here, all I can continue to do is offer you my love and guidance. Each one of us has our own life journey with hidden miracles and surprises. God blesses each of us in our own way. You aren’t any better than anyone else, but nobody is better than you either – Remember this! Don’t ever forget this! Society has a perverse way of manipulating us into thinking otherwise. Don’t play the fool, there are enough of them in the world to occupy a whole continent. (A big continent at that!). Don’t forget that I will always be your friend, even when I have to be your parent and not let you off the hook for shit! Of course, I am and always will be your dad, until my last breath on this planet. And that is the greatest job, the greatest accomplishment and the greatest blessing I have ever had.
I love you with all of my heart Ava Elizabeth Jacobs. And as you grow older and grow up into the remarkable human-being, adult and woman I already know you are and will become, just know that I will love you forever, no matter what. There will be lots of changes and growing pains you will go through (as will mommy and I), but one constant is the love that mommy and I will always always always have for you.
Thanks for reading!
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