Dear Twenty-Month-Old Daughter, I’m Sorry You Didn’t Get My Email Today
Reminding myself what it means to be a good father and a good husband
Dear baby girl,
I shouldn’t be writing this. I should be writing you an email instead.
I’ve been telling you in the last ten mails that I’ll write more often, that I’m taking notes and I’ll catch them all up one of these days. But you’re progressing so fast that the notes only pile up.
You do so many new things a day that I don’t get to write them all down. Today you sang “Happy birth to daddy” then “Happy birth to mommy” then “Happy birth to the table.” I was about to note it down when I remembered that I had forgotten to note down your proclivity for using “the” (or “da” as you say it) in all your sentences — “Daddy do da pressing of da button” or “Mommy do da fetching of da water” or “Mommy do da kissing of da teddy.”
I wanted to document every step of your life and deliver it to you in a massive, professionally bound tome when you’re eighteen.
I opened this email account for you a few months after you were born. I wanted to document every step of your life and deliver it to you in a massive, professionally bound tome when you’re eighteen. I’ve thought of this moment many times in my head.
But I’m failing at this. I’m failing at writing to you as regularly as I want to.
When you turned one-year-old I emailed you and told you I was sorry that I have failed to make the dough necessary to get us out of Germany and to the UK where your mom and I feel you will have a better life. Germany is no country for raising children. You belong to the state from the moment you’re born. Did you know you have a tax number? Yes, they gave it to you when you were two weeks old. Try not to earn too much before you’re five, okay? You’d embarrass your daddy if you suddenly needed to pay more taxes than I do.
Also, we want to homeschool you, for no other reason than that we feel we’d do a good job at it — but Germany forbids this.