Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, [baby emoji][cake emoji][cake emoji].
As is often the case, my little inexplicably 18 year old cousin The Monkey recently called me when she was having computer troubles. “Peeeeeeteeerrrrrrr, my laptop is being a shit again.” Somehow I have become IT support for my family (half the town, really) despite being a writer who studied marketing in university.
My doing favours for her is nothing new, and has been going once since, oh, just about right after she was born. Some friends and neighbours still laugh about the image of me standing at the bus stop with a kindergarten-aged Monkey. I’d have a pink Dora the Explorer backpack on my shoulder, while she danced around me like I was some kind of giant, and understatedly handsome, maypole. Ay, caramba!
I’ll get late-night emails asking me to print a project for her for school the next day. (She never has ink in her printer.) I’ll get 7:30 am texts for drives to school or to a weekend sporting event she’s part of. Not that long ago (when I was still working from home), I got an afternoon text asking me to make her a grilled cheese. “I have a basketball game at 4 and I’m really hungry.” So, of course, I made the grilled cheese, got her a bottle of water, and drove to her school. When I got there, I sent a text. “I’m in the parking lot.” She replied with, “In the gym please.”
So she’s a little bit of a pain in the butt. And you’re going to absolutely love her. (My Adorably Cute Niece too!)
Where were we? Oh, yeah!
While I was fixing the laptop, one of The Monkey’s friends had to use her phone to Facetime with her Dad to help him figure something out on his computer. When the call connected, the dad immediately said to his daughter,
“Oh, you look so pretty.”
It was ridiculously sweet and sincere.
I smiled and then awwwwwwwed inside. Maybe a little on the outside too.
Now I don’t really know the dude, but I’ve heard lots of stories about him being an absolutely great and supportive dad. One of those parents who attends every single game, you know?
The moment stayed with me. Just typing it now is making me smile all over again.
I was telling the story later that night, and someone whose opinion means more to me than I’ve been able to fully articulate (so far) said that I would make a great dad. Especially to a daughter.
While cartoon hearts and little blue birds were swirling around my head, she gave me another compliment that was so meaningful that I melted.
But I’ve thought of more stuff since I posted those.
I want to make sure out little potential future daughter knows…
– That I want her to be independent AND able to find happiness with someone who respects, admires and adores that about her.
– That she should always be unapologetically herself.
– That being smart is amazing, and that she should never run away or hide from it.
– That quirks are awesome.
– That she can tell us ANYTHING. (And that she knows some stuff should be told only to you because it will kill my soul entirely.)
– That she should positively DEMAND that she is treated the way that I treat you. And I hope that she sees the love, respect, admiration, awe, excitement, warmth, unrelenting support, and “Get a room, you two!”ness I show you. I hope she knows that anything less is completely unacceptable. COMPLETELY.
– That family is the most important thing.
– That she can accomplish absolutely anything in this world.
– That she has to be a Blue Jays fan.
– That we have her back. No matter what. Forever and always.
– That I’m going to have a million other things I want us to teach her.
I’m sure you know by now that I’m going to be a spoiler. And occasionally a pain in the ass. I’m going to spoil you. I’m going to spoil her. I’m going to spoil her when you tell me to stop spoiling her. And when you’re pregnant, I’m going to spoil you to such levels that minstrels will sing songs about it.
Most likely while playing a lute.
Like with you, I will quite literally be willing to take a bullet for that kid.
And when her first love dumps her and I’m so sad and angry that I don’t know what to do or say, I will finally blurt out, in a voice that you know means business:
“I’m going to set fire to everything he holds dear!!!!”
“No, babe…” you’ll say.
“You’re not going to set fire to everything he holds dear.”
“Nope. WE’RE going to set fire to everything he holds dear. I’ll grab the lighter fluid.”
And I’ll know with even more certainty that, when I picked you, I most definitely chose wisely.
I’ll never stop working to prove that you did too.
I love you.
I can’t wait to marry you.
I can’t wait to meet her.
I hope that she has your face.