Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Happy Fourth Birthday!

Dear Alexis,

The past year you have experienced an immense amount of mental growth. From speech to emotions, you have been inundated with many difficult situations. For me, it's a harsh reminder of the black-and-white views of my own past, and the difficulty (near impossibility) to instigate change in people. On the optimistic side: as parents we learn and employ varying tactics to help you gain empathy, and for you to learn to keep an open mind in this seemingly unfair world set against your joy and happiness. 

Regardless of how you act/react, I always love you. At times you have bent me beyond my personal breaking point. Looking back it's difficult to understand the exact factors both within and outside my control leading to that point. But because it's you, I must find ways to deal with it and move on. There's no giving up. I must have pliability both with my memory and my emotions. Despite the absurdity of your stubbornness and your demands, we still need to understand or find the underlying cause of your troubles, and help you deal with that situation. More often than not, we fail. But as you experience intense emotional situations, we always strive to grow your arsenal to handle what life throws your way. 

You have an increasing social awareness. Contrary to fears of you "inheriting" my shyness, you display a healthy amount of extroversion. You enjoy playing with friends at school, and chatting with family you have not seen or heard in weeks. On the playground you enjoy leading others around. Around strangers you will lower your voice, but respond to questions and comments. You have an acute awareness of conversations and social situations. Like majority of the population you hate feeling left out. 

As I stumble through changes to being a better father, you relentlessly drive forward to being a better daughter. As mentioned in the past, your presence truly drives me to a better place. The experience and change of parenthood is indescribable, and seemingly inconceivable. Yet, here I find ourselves growing and learning from each other on all levels. Thank you! 

Your Dad