My second letter to my beautiful daughter, Isabella Rose.

Dear Isabella Rose,

I can’t  believe you are six months old already.  My entire life I’ve heard people say how fast time moves but I guess I never appreciated how true that was until you entered my life.  It seems like yesterday that I held you in my arms for the first time and then I blinked and you hit me with that heavenly smile and your first laugh.  The truth is, you’ve had me wrapped around your finger from the moment I heard that first heartbeat on the ultrasound.  Now, every time I see that precious smile or hear that heart warming laugh, it feels like the entire world around me stops moving and all that matters is you (and mommy of course).  Before we know it, I’ll be walking you into school for the first time and pretending not to cry.  That’s why I wanted to start writing you these letters so early in your life because there is so much I want to share with you in what seems like so little time.  Your mother and I will continue to read these letters to you until one day when you’re old enough to read them on your own.  There’s a lot that I want to share with you in this second letter Bella Bear so let’s get started…

A few months before you were born, I was having a conversation with a close friend of mine who asked me, “Aren’t you afraid to be bringing a baby girl into this world with so much evil and hatred out there?” 

He proceeded to review with me how a “Presidential” election (quotes intended) ripped our country in half, a global pandemic that is turning the world upside down, riots in the streets all across the country, schools no longer being safe and how evil and hatred between different groups of people seemed to be the new normal.  He then asked, “How can you raise a baby girl in a world like this?”

Now, before I share with you my response to my good friend, there’s something about your dad that I think you should know sooner than later…

I’m not like everyone else sweetheart.  I will never accept “what is” as my only option in life and neither should you.  I don’t run from things that might scare me and I refuse to accept that one person cannot change the world.  Some people might think I’m crazy or naïve for thinking that and that’s ok because I’ll spend my entire life proving them wrong.

Now, there’s no question that the time in which you entered this world is drastically different than when your mother and I were born.  Of course I am nervous to be raising you in such a difficult world but the way I see it, I only have two choices…

I can either let the fear of raising you under current circumstances control me and negatively impact the way I raise you…

Or

I can do everything in my power to change those circumstances and make the world around you a better place worthy of your presence.

I’ll choose the latter 10/10 times. It might be a tall order for one man to change the world but but I’m proud to say that your daddy is not like every other man.  Your grandfather raised me to stand out from the crowd and to leave my mark on this world and that is exactly what I’m going to do. 

As you grow up, I want you to see your father as a light in such a dark world.  I want you to see me living a life that makes a difference in the lives of those around me and I want you to see me being kind to others, despite how they may treat me in return.  I want to show you that despite the world looking doom and gloom at times, you are in control of your own happiness and that the circumstances around you don’t have to control you.  I want you to see me smiling and being happy each day, despite the challenges I may face in life.  And most importantly, I want you to see me living a life of purpose and fulfillment regardless of what everyone else around me is doing.

I refuse to accept that a world full of evil and hatred is the only world you will ever know. Instead, I will live a life that makes the world around you a better place.  I will show you  what it means to love others, to care for others, and to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those around you. God gave you such a precious smile princess, and I refuse to let the evil in this world steal that from you.

In saying that, it’s important that you know two things.

  1. I am going to do everything in my power to pave the way for you to have a long, loving and happy future.
  2. I am going to teach you how to pave the way for yourself.  It’s important that you know how to make yourself happy and to live a life that makes your heart full, regardless of the environment in which you find yourself.

In order for you to be able to do just that, I have to be honest with you about a few things…

First, there are a lot of unhappy people in this world.  There are even people out there who go out of their way to try to make other people unhappy. Promise me that you will never let anyone or anything take your happiness from you.  Instead, share your happiness in life with others to help brighten up this world.  If there is one thing I know for sure it’s that your smile and that precious laugh are powerful enough to light up the world around you.

Despite what anyone else might tell you, you are always in control of your own happiness in life.  Promise me that you will always find ways to smile even on your darkest days and always know that I am always here to protect your happiness.

Second, as much as I hate to admit it, you will experience hardship and pain at some point in your life.  Even now as you’re only six months old, I can’t begin the describe how much it pains me to see you cry.  It kills me to know that one day you will fall down and scrape your knee for this first time and I’m sure I will be a blabbering mess.  Your daddy can render first aid under the most extreme circumstances but I don’t know how the hell I will handle seeing you hurt for the first time.

I also know that one day you will have your heart broken for the first time and your momma is going to have to keep me out of jail that night.  Then as you grow older there will be a time when you experience some greater hardships in life. When that time comes, all I can hope for is that you know that daddy will be ready to hug and hold you with open arms.   I’m not telling you this to scare you princess but rather to prepare you so you’re ready to face those hardships when they come.

Unfortunately, it is inevitable for all of us to experience pain and hardship at some point in our lives. I need you to know that life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Although some people might question why I would choose to share this with you so early in life, I need you to prepare for you the truth if there’s any hope of helping you live a happy life in the world we live in today.  Always know that your daddy will always protect you from the evil in this world and I will always be there right by your side but it’s important that I teach you to be strong and confident in yourself so you can stand on your own some day continue to share your light with this world.

Finally, it’s very important that you are never afraid to be different.  Just because the world around you is sad doesn’t mean you have to be.  Don’t ever settle for anything less than everything your heart desires.  Don’t ever give up your pursuit of the life you want to live and always find ways to share that beautiful smile with the world.  Unfortunately, we live in a world where people often blame the world around them for why they are unhappy in life but that’s not how we do things in the Natale household.  Don’t ever let someone convince you that you are not in control of your life and your own happiness. 

You deserve the absolute best in every aspect of life Bella Bear, but that means sometimes you’ll need to take charge of the change needed to make that happen.

Above all else, just know you have two parents who love you more than words could even begin to describe and we will do everything in our power to change the world around you.

Love you Bella Bear.

Daddy

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