Yeah, I know you probably roll your eyes at that but since I read it somewhere I’ve always wanted to call someone dear to me that and the mantle fell on you. I promise you this letter is serious. I will leave the jokes aside. You’re a teenager now and I’d like to apprise you of some very salient issues you’ll face or already have faced.
You’ll be growing into a very uncertain and turbulent world, in which standards and opinions change faster than Lord Varys loyalties or Sansa’s Suitors. Yes I know. You must be tired by now of my Game of Thrones references. Can’t help myself. It’s probably replaced Shakespeare as literature in your classes right now. Sorry. I’m rambling again. And no. It’s not because I know too much. It’s because…… Okay, okay I’ll stop now.
First, yes. You’re adopted. No, it makes no difference. Daddy just wanted a kid and finding your mom was taking too damn long, so I had to get one, and voila, you came to my life. At no time will I ever regret the decision. You’re my first born child. That’s the end of it. No more discussion. And you’ll forever remain ‘Munchkin’ to me. Tongue out. (Do you people still do that? Or it’s now ‘head turned over’ or ‘bone marrow jiggling?’ Oh well the good old days).
Okay, I’ll be serious now. Let me admit to some of my schemes. Yes those books that were always conspicuously lying around the house while you were growing up, no mistake. I wanted you to share the thrill of escaping into a virtual world where you can live a hundred lifetimes and travel to a thousand cities in one year without leaving the four walls of the house. I wanted to show you the wonderful world of books, of art and literature.
While I’m at it, I’m not sorry my first electronic gift to you was an Ebook reader, instead of an Iphone 14. No one bought me books and I had to, err…. ‘borrow’ the books I read before I could afford to buy them. Hope you caught on. However, I fear creating another wisecracking, mischievous, sometimes brilliant, sometimes exasperating imp. I don’t know who that would resemble though, but I hope you’ve become that at least.
Yes too, the martial arts classes weren’t out of boredom, or to impress you with my abilities. I also refuse to admit I was trying to create my own Arya Stark, and even if i was, what’s wrong with that? I’d prefer to know my baby is capable of defending herself in some relatively extreme situations. Because, I can tell you a million times to avoid compromising situations, but the truth remains that there are way too many animals out there so I’d prefer to know you aren’t totally helpless. Please don’t go around beating your mates up. Be nice.
Yes, I’m not stinting on your education. Stop wincing whenever you remember how much I pay for your fees. See, your dad and his brothers came from practically nothing to where we are now, and that’s because our parents starved and sacrificed enough to give us a level playing field with good education. And again, your being a girl but makes no difference to me. You’ll be better than many men your age. I hope
Talking about gender, listen baby, take your mother as an example (I hope I’ve found her by now. Yes your father is hopeless with relationships). You’re inferior to no one on the basis of your gender, except maybe me as I’ll be your lord and master and you must bow and scrape and….. Okay I will shut up.
But listen, learn, work hard, take your opportunities and try to be successful. You owe that to yourself and no one else. Be your own woman darling.
While we’re on the topic of independence, what kind of men are available now? As I write to you, we are pioneering a new wave of Renaissance men. Did it falter? Are the men and, by extension, women of your generation well rounded? Do they combine the arts with the sciences or are the nerds still living in their own world?
I wouldn’t want to tell you how to live your life, but I’m enjoying knowing a bit about everything and I strongly recommend that to you. After selling Beer and dabbling in the health industry, I’ve become a successful writer, or at least so I hope. Let me assure you shortstop (hope you hate that name as much as I love calling you that), intelligence is the best accessory that beauty can carry. Taste and see that the Renaissance is good.
By now we’ve both found out if I was a visionary introducing you to sports as a kid. See how much money there is in it? Plus I needed you to develop a healthy competitive spirit that sports alone could give you. And no. I don’t apologize for the countless Arsenal Jerseys I’ve bought you. You didn’t have any choice. You’re a gunner and that’s that. Hope we’ve won the champions league now though. Even if we haven’t, being an arsenal fan must have taught you patience and if so, I’ve done my duty as a father.
I can’t end this letter without talking to you about your possible husband. First of, you aren’t entertaining those thoughts yet, right? RIGHT? You’ll remain a kid for quite some time I hope. Don’t play with yourself o. I’ve made a deal with God. He’ll somehow stop you from ageing after your early teens and keep you with me. But if he somehow changes that plan, tell me about the prospective husband/wife, (Yes I’ll accept a gay sexual orientation, even though I hope you’re swinging for the straight team).
Is he conscientious and will make your happiness his priority? I won’t warn him not to abuse you. I’m pretty sure he likes staying alive. Is he ambitious? Does he appreciate the things you struggle to do, and prop you up at your lowest? Does he acknowledge your independence and is ready to be a complement to you, as I’m sure you will be to him?
Finally darling, your Papa will raise no coward. I need you to live your life. Make your mistakes. You can’t screw up as much as I have. And fear not. I will forgive you even if you do. My parents didn’t disown me. I won’t disown you. We’re stuck together like the kardashians and implants. But have a good heart and own up to your errors in order to learn from them. That’s all I ask.
P.S I hope you don’t have two left legs and can dance as well as your father. If so, doxology. If you can’t dance, I know I should be a good father and tell you it’s not the end of the world, but hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
Okay I’ll grow up.
Yours in hopefully responsible fatherhood,
Ned…. Sorry, Dad.