My dearest Hanako, happy 20th birthday.
I am writing this letter to you on the evening of your first birthday. As I type you are sleeping gently in your mother’s arms; the two most beautiful girls in the world. I couldn’t help myself, I took a polaroid and will keep it with this letter.
You will probably never remember today, so that is why I decided to write you this letter and post it to your adult self. I’m not sure if it will reach you, but I will try to keep it safe until then
As I stare at your sleeping face I find it hard to think that it will be a grown-up version of you reading this. Even now, after a year of growing, you’re still so small. I can’t picture what you will look like. Will you be beautiful like your mother? Will you be as tall as me? Taller? I’m almost too excited; I wish you were already grown up so I could see you.
Ah, but you are grown up now, aren’t you? I wonder what our life together was like? I’m sorry if I have been hard on your boyfriends and an embarasment to you. But I guess by now you know me well enough to know I’m just a fool. Plus, it’s a parent’s job to embarrass their kids.
I’m letting myself get carried away. This letter is supposed to remind you of your past, not for me to see into the future.
I will admit that I didn’t think I was ready to be a father. When your mother first told me the news I didn’t know what to think. Thankfully my father (your Grandfather) knew what to say to me; he hit me in the head and said I’d be fine. And I was fine. You have changed my life in ways I never thought possible.
Of course, there have been some hard times. You were teething a month ago; crying all the time and obviosuly in pain, but that is over now. You’ve been crawling for some time now and are almost able to walk on your own; a moment that I secretly dread. When you take that first step I will be both celebrating your achievements and lamenting the fact that you are starting on a road to becoming an independent girl who no longer needs her foolish Dad.
I hope this letter finds you in good health. It’s kinda strange; the “me” writing this and the “you” reading it are almost the same age.. In fact, you’ll be the same age as your mother when we first met… Of course, that will be nearly a generation ago; I can’t even imagine what that will feel like.
Oh… it looks like you’ve woken up, and it’s my turn to nurse you back to sleep. I guess that this is goodbye then.
Thank you Hanako, for changing my life. And happy 20th birthday! I guess we can finally share a drink now.