Dear Girls,

You may not remember, but four years ago I wrote you a really cheesy letter expressing the love and hopes that your mom and I have for your lives. Well, your Dad is cheesy as ever so I thought I would write you another letter, this time in recognition of Valentine’s Day and about L-O-V-E.

I can hear you now, “Daaaaaaad … really?” but you know me, if I didn’t express my hopes to you both in the sweet times when it is just us or via a blog that at least 27 people will read, I wouldn’t be your Dad 😉 Plus, as much as the selfish and protective parent in me would like to say, “Please don’t grow up or experience the world and, for goodness sake, do not fall in love,” you know that your mom and I simply revel in watching you seek and grow into all that God intends for your life.

When it comes to “love” our hopes are no different.

As we watch you navigate the changing nature of relationships in school, friends, and new people in your lives we are grateful for the ways you have handled the teasing, the crushes, and the heartbreak that love may bring. But alas, it is also our job to give you as much counsel as possible in order to help you make good choices in life. So in addition to our hopes that you will always love the Oakland A’s, take care of your parents when we get old, and never forget the joy you bring to our lives, here are my hopes for your life when it comes to “love.”

I hope you find love that is soulful

Now I know that getting married will not be for everyone and that the nature of commitment is changing in the world, so this is not a “You have to get married” hope. Still, as the world opens up to you and you meet people throughout your life, I hope you meet someone who will deeply move you in body, mind and spirit. You will have many friends, some even really good ones, but when you experience love that touches your soul at its core you will be forever changed.

I hope you know love that is expansive

 You know that another person does not define who you are as a child of God, but when you meet a man or woman who takes hold of your heart with care, you do begin to know who you are becoming, what you believe, and how you will live in the world. I hope that whomever you fall in love with, together you will rejoice in the journey of discovering who God intends you both to become.

I hope that your mom and I have done okay

Like many children, you have seen your parents go through the ups and downs of life as individuals and as a couple. We’ve always tried to be appropriate in what you see and know and I hope we have never lead you to believe that love is easy or perfect. So when someone asks you about how your parents were as a couple, it’s my hope that you will be able say, “Well, other than kissing in front of us which they knew grossed us out … they really loved one another, we always knew they loved us and there was a lot of joy in our home.” Basically, I hope that you will see in your mom and dad’s relationship that we have the greatest hopes for one another which has only made our love that much deeper.

Lastly, you know that we love you and I apologize in advance for the difficulties that I will have in letting you go as you each grow into the woman you will become. But also know that when it seems like your mom or I don’t understand the heartache or the euphoria that you are experiencing, we are trying … and, not only that, we promise at the depths of our souls to be with you through it all, the tears, the laughter and the love.

So I think that’s it until the next time I’m feeling cheesy, maybe Arbor Day 😉

We love you.

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