To my daughters,
Right now you are 11, 6 and 1 and I am 34. But I still remember what it was like to be 15 and have so much of the future uncertain and exciting in front of you. I remember that first love and the heart break it brought me.
I want you all to know that falling in and out of love as a teenager is normal. No matter what the books tell you, most of us didn't fall in love for the first time at 16 and stay in love with that person forever. It does happen sometimes, ask your grandma, she was one of those rare ones.
For you, my hope is that you fall in love many times. That your heart is broken more than once. No, not because I wish you pain, but because it will make you stronger. Through these relationships don't lose yourself, okay, maybe it is alright to lose yourself a little, because I know you will. But when your heart is broken and you feel like you can't go on, you can come to me you can wallow in in, and find yourself again. I will be there for you.
Eventually you will find someone worthy of you and your love. Perhaps you will find this person early in your life, perhaps you will be 30 when it happens. But it will happen and when it does, even if this person isn't someone I would chose for you, I want you to be happy.
I will try my hardest to support you through this. As long as you stay true to yourself and don't completely change yourself to be the right one for the other person. A little change is normal, we all change. We all grow. Hopefully you will grow with your partner.
Right now your dad and I have been married for 9 1/2 years, I hope that as you go through your teenage years we are still going strong as a couple. We've had our ups and downs. Life, love and marriage are in no way easy. At this moment I feel like our marriage is strong, based in love and trust and pure enjoyment of being around one another. But sometimes marriage is more like being a roommate with someone you once couldn't be apart from. Working through those hard time together is how you come out the other side stronger. There have been times when I have wanted to walk away from this marriage and start over. I knew that I would always regret it if I didn't give this family my all. And I have through hard times, through deployments and living in separate places. I've struggled because I missed him, I've struggled because I needed a break. In the end it has all been worth it.
Right now, I look forward to our future with eyes brightly filled with hope. We aren't sure what the next few years will bring. But we are sure that this family unit will survive it and come out of the other side as one.
My dear daughters, you are all unique. I hope you hold to that, hold on to yourself even if your friends don't see you as special, you are. You always are. You my dear girls are so important to me and your dad. We love you,