To Daphne


Where to start, daughter of mine? Do I try to wrestle these 26 characters and 14 punctuation marks into a two-dimensional sculpture of my joy at your arrival? Such a thing is beyond me, I confess; I've never been much good at wrestling. Do I convert my love into black and white and publish it to the annals of a silly blog in some obscure corner of this incomprehensible tornado of nonsense we call the internet? Such a thing seems laughably inadequate, but here I am, attempting exactly that.

I could always try to explain a thing or two about this wild world you find yourself in, couldn't I? Its eccentricities are manifold, its beauty beyond argument. We make our home on a smallish, rocky outcropping called earth—a roughly marble-shaped conglomeration of things that falls in ellipses around a largish thing called the sun, which is on fire. We do this elliptical fall every year, and it causes trees to disrobe and lakes to freeze and Chrysanthemums to bloom and otters to mate and your mom to put on a flock of coats and then take them off a few months later. It's fantastic. On this world (for example, in the garden outside), there are tiny, insectile organisms called aphids battling for their lives against slightly less tiny (but equally insectile) beings called ladybugs. It's all very wonderful and confusing, I know. But let's set the world aside for a moment.

Maybe I should start by alleviating any concern you may have that I'm about to publicly embarrass you with some kind of "You're never going to do anything wrong! You're the prettiest flower in the garden!" pep talk. All of that it is no more than posturing for the insecure, and the two of us don't need to get mixed up in that sort of thing. Like Aslan said, "You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve, and that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth." The pressure of learning your fine motor skills is enough for now. I see no need to pile the weight of being better than all the other little girls on earth onto your shoulders.

So that's out. Maybe I start by telling you that I don't care if you're beautiful or if you never weigh more than 115 pounds? It's true. You can be Leah or Rachel, soft-eyed or stunning, and your daddy won't put much stock in either. So long as you like your mama and me, Narnia, and your brothers (at least occasionally), we're probably going to be ok. And judging by the look your mama is giving me right now, I'm probably supposed to say that you don't even have to like Narnia all that much.

Speaking of your brothers, it's totally ok if you can't do all the things they can. Truth is, you'll be just as good as men at a lot of things, better than them in others, and generally worse than most men in still other categories. You will not be nearly as equipped as your brothers for arm wrestling, football-tackling, firefighting, or other such pugilistic endeavors. Knowing this is no more your loss than knowing a sock would make a poor hat. God's design is beautiful and wars are uglier when women fight, anyway.

You'll be equally capable of thinking clearly, writing beautifully, loving nobly, and understanding deeply. You'll be just as equipped to stand and be counted with the true Israel of Christ's Church, to reflect the divine image. You'll be no worse at math because you are a girl, nor will you be less apt to bless the world with your presence.

Then there are those magnificent arenas in which your brothers can never hope to be your equal. God willing, you'll be a mom some day—a gift they can neither steal nor receive. You'll find instincts and strengths and wonders that God has worked into the double helixes of your DNA that they could never dream of having. There are ten thousand gleaming facets of this thing called femininity that they and I can only stare at from a distance—mouth slightly open—in awe.

But enough sermonizing from me (you'll hear plenty of that, to be sure, in the coming years). I guess what I'm trying to say is that I am deliriously excited to be your daddy, that I love you, and that you are a gift of which I am abysmally unworthy. Welcome to our little tribe.

All my love,