A Birthday Letter to My 10 Year Old Daughter

A letter written from a father to his daughter one day after her 10th birthday.

A Birthday Letter to My 10 Year Old Daughter
Birthday Date at Lottie's Creamery in Danville.

Dear Lydia,

It's one day after you turned ten, and I cannot believe how much you have changed. Mommy and I still remember when you were first born and we cradled you in our arms. Even though you are child number three, to me you are special. You're my first and likely only daughter.

The Hardest Child

You have been our hardest child. Not by your choice, but you were born extremely frail. Your muscles were abnormally weak. During your first few years of life, we brought you to different physical therapists and doctors including a neurologist. You couldn't walk until you were two, while most kids started walking at 12 months of age.

But that was not the hardest part. You were so bothered by simple things. When you were three years old, we went to San Francisco on a beautiful afternoon. You cried for nearly two hours straight because you were bothered by a gentle breeze. Any wind will spiral you into a frantic meltdown.

We actually tried to put you in a preschool when you were four years old. During dropout, you would cry every day for two hours nonstop. We thought you would adjust after one or two weeks. Finally after four months, we surrendered and took you out of the preschool because you still couldn't manage.

If I were to list all the challenges Mommy and I have had with you, it would fill an entire book. But this past weekend, your birthday weekend, I will remember what a sweet girl you can be.

Father Daughter Birthday Date

Our date to the Village Theatre in Danville was memorable. We had balcony seats to watch your friend Neva Nycz sing, act, and dance in a wonderful musical production. Then, we walked to Lotties Creamery to share two scoops of ice cream: Cookies and Cream and Darkest Chocolate. We both agreed "it was so good."

And as we walked back to our car, we held each other's hand. It reminded me when I first held mommy's hand when mommy and I were engaged. I was holding hands with a precious soul, someone I will continue to love for the rest of my life.

I asked you where you wanted to go for dinner so we can celebrate your birthday as a family. You wanted sushi, so we decided on Kibo Sushi, our favorite Japanese restaurant in Danville.

Birthday Dinner

Unlike many other days, you had a wonderful attitude on your birthday weekend and dinner. Our family devoured the brussel sprout appetizers and all the sushi rolls and ramen bowls that we had ordered, including your favorite, the Dragon rolls. Evelyn Thaw, sharing your same birthdate, turned seven, so her familiy also came to Kibo Sushi to celebrate.

The Trinh family and the Ribergaards join us afterward back at home for birthday cake. Beforehand, you had baked 12 small chocolate bundlets and 12 lemon cupcakes. We also picked up a larger chocolate bundlet from Nothing Bundt Cakes. You did your best to think of others. You tried to socialize with your visiting friends, and even though Luke blew out your birthday candle, to my surprise, you practiced self-control. You didn't cry or yell and scream.

Charlotte and Annabelle handsewed and gave you four stuffed animals, and we all sang Happy Birthday together. You told me, even though you only wanted to celebrate with our family and no one else, the highlight of your birthday evening was celebrating with the Thaw kids and the Trinh kids. You remind me that sometimes it is special to have others present on special occasions in one's life.

My Birthday Wish

Lydia, Daddy will not always be here with you. But I want you to always remember that I love you. I pray daily that God will make you into a godly woman. You don't need to be a great cook or baker or violinist. You don't need to be well-liked and popular. God promises that he will never withhold any good thing from you. Remember that we have a great God, and every good thing that you have comes from our heavenly Father alone.

Love, Daddy.