Dear children, this is Dad.
You sleep while I, tonight again, try to study despite the accumulation of emotions that run through me again and again, pressing on my heart. Dad is a night owl, as you know, and it’s difficult to let himself go, but when he does, he goes … far, far away, to the end of the rainbows.
Today I’ve been thinking about what you would have left from me if tomorrow, God forbid, Dad were to be gone. What would I have taught you? We don’t have a goodnight song or any family fairytales. We don’t have any family rituals that we’ve followed since you were young. I’m not aware that we do anything like that, like in the movies, characteristic and unique. I don’t stand out in much. I’ve never been the best at anything. I haven’t won medals or gotten the highest promotion. I haven’t had the best salary or the nicest house. I have unfulfilled dreams. Perhaps I don’t make Mom as happy as I would like. I yell more than I should. I demand too much from you, and I have the sense that I lose too much time in wanting things to work a certain way instead of enjoying them as they are. Sometimes I see other dads and moms and ask myself why I can’t be like them …
What I can say is that each of you three has been the fruit of love, loved and desired from the first moment of your conception. You are my joy, my rest and my torment, the cause of my greatest suffering and the reason that I get up in the morning and fight every day. You are the proof that the heart can always stretch a bit more (just like bedtime) and that it’s worthwhile to have a bed big enough for everyone to fit. There isn’t a day or a night in which my long hours don’t get lost in your dreams. You have shown me that the truest wages are the ones paid with kisses, and that despite fears, it’s worth it to be courageous and try again … and again, and again, and again.
Dad isn’t the coolest father. He’s not the most likable, nor the most understanding, nor the most patient. I’m not the best singer, nor the most handsome among the dads of your friends. Dad is not the best at any sport, and he’s not famous. Dad is, simply, himself … or that’s what he tries to be. Dad, this is for sure, has spent more than 15 years loving Mom every day, fighting for his marriage and being faithful to it. Dad has finished his degree 20 years after beginning it, despite the difficulties, trip-ups, discouragements, traps and wounds along the way. Dad never gave up and he achieved it. Today, Dad is an engineer, though one of those engineers that prefers to teach children, fill a theater with parents and dream of being useful for the littlest ones. Dad trusted in God always and it has gone well for him. Dad wasn’t afraid to change cities a few times in search of dreams. Dad never skimped on a smile or a hug for anyone. Dad is like this, what can I do?
I would like to offer more, I recognize. There are nights when I have the feeling that my beard is growing whiter and that I still haven’t done anything important in this life. But today, in the warmth of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I think I could have done nothing better than give the world a gift that will change history: you.
You are, without a doubt, the best, and though I sometimes have the temptation to think that you belong to your mother and me, I quickly shake myself out of it, and tell myself that you are, for all and above all, of God — my hope and the seed of a future that it falls to you to conquer.
Dad will take care of you always, here and beyond.
Translated from the Spanish