Like any new father, I’ve spent the past week in awe and in love with my daughter, and thinking about raising a baby girl into a grown woman and all that will go into being her dad, including passing along wisdom about life to help her along. I’ve had about 44 years to compile a perspective — and though there are so many lessons I will learn with her along the way, as I have thought this week about what kind of person I hope my daughter will be, I’ve come up with a list of core lessons or perspectives on life that I hope she learns from me as she grows up.

Your Family

1. Your mom and dad love you very much. Always.

2. Your big brother is about the best kid in the whole wide world. You’ve hit the lottery getting him as a brother. Love him, and learn from him.

3. Family always comes first. Your brother, your mother and I will not always be your favorite dance partners, but when we want to spend time or when one of us needs you, your family is your priority. Someday you will understand why this is so important.

4. All four of your grandparents are remarkable people with stories to tell, things to teach, experience to share and love to give. Respect them and love them with all your might, because your time with them is limited.

Who You Are

5. Always be honest and act with integrity. Trust takes a lifetime to build and moments to ruin. In the end, all you really have is your reputation for honesty and integrity – and if you squander that, you can never get it back.

6. Enjoy learning things; it’s one of the things that will make you feel most alive, because love of learning keeps you striving for more. Never stop learning. Don’t forget, too, that school is not the only place you will learn.

7. Ask questions. A lot of them. Once you’ve gotten the answers, be willing to challenge some of them. Respectfully. Without challenging the status quo, the world would never change. Also be willing to accept some of them. Respectfully. Rebelling just for the sake of rebelling isn’t courage, it’s being a punk. Your job is to become wise enough to know which answers are the ones you should accept and which you should not.

8. Your favorite question should be “What’s next?” When you’ve had one adventure, look for another. When you’ve accomplished something you’ve never been able to do before, look for another challenge. When you’ve achieved something remarkable – maybe even something that no one thought you could do – set another goal and set about achieving it. It’s not that you should never be content; it’s that you should never rest on your laurels. Toss your cap over the next wall and figure out how to go over the wall to retrieve it. Push yourself to do more. You’ll be amazed at where your brain, body and spirit will take you.

9. If someone hurts your feelings or hurts you and they apologize, accept their apology and move on. People make mistakes sometimes and holding on to slights doesn’t serve you any good. But if they do the same thing a second time, learn your lesson that their apology is not sincere and don’t give them a third chance.

10. If you hurt someone’s feelings or hurt them in some way, apologize right away, and mean it. But if they say they’ve accepted your apology and then keep bringing up the hurt, don’t accept the guilt trip. No real friend will keep making you feel bad for something you’ve genuinely shown that you’re sorry for.

11. People judge you by the way you dress, and treat you accordingly. We can talk all we want about whether they should, but they do. So: if you dress like an outcast, you’ll be an outcast. If you dress in trailer chic, people will assume you live in a trailer and will treat you like you do. If you dress in super-revealing clothes, they will assume you’re slutty and will treat you accordingly. If you don’t want to be subject to those judgments and treatments, take pride in your appearance and dress to reflect how you want to be seen.

12. Learning to lose with grace and class is one of the most invaluable skills you will ever develop.  Learning how to win because you hate to lose is maybe the second most invaluable skill you will ever develop.

13. Learn good manners and etiquette and the rules of politeness, and then practice them every day. Not only is it the right thing to do and reflects well on you, but bluntly: it opens more doors for you to get what you’re looking for.

14. Don’t take yourself too seriously.  And if you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re taking yourself too seriously.

15. If you start something, finish it. Leave nothing undone or incomplete.

16. Don’t make promises you don’t or can’t keep, and don’t write checks with your mouth that your brain can’t cash. Your word is your bond, kid. Don’t give it cavalierly, and don’t break promises. If you say you’re going to do something, do it.

17. Take responsibility for your own actions and your own mistakes. We don’t blame others or find scapegoats or make excuses; when you do something wrong, own it and accept the consequences.

18. Dramatic things happen in every life. It is how you choose to handle them that determines whether you have “drama” or not.

19. You can’t change the entire world all at once. But you can change it little by little by doing the right thing when you have the chance, and those little things can make a huge difference when they’re all added up. And, you can change your corner of the world every day. The power is yours. Don’t look at things as they are and ask why. Look at what they could be and ask why not?

20. There are people in this life who for some reason like to play the martyr or be the victim. They would rather blame others for their situation in life, believe in conspiracies to explain why they don’t or can’t have the life they want, who always point the finger at someone else for their situation, who are always angry. It’s a sad and kind of pathetic way to go through life – and you should not fall prey to it. You are not a victim. Ever. Whatever your circumstances are, even when someone else has legitimately wronged you, you have the power to make things better or improve your circumstances. Playing the victim is just the lazy way out.

Work Ethic

21. Everything worth having is worth having to work very hard for. If it comes easy, it’s probably either not worth having, won’t be appreciated, or wasn’t a high enough goal. Hard work and tenacity should be valued even more than excellence. It’s a greater honor to work hard and fail than to excel at less than your best.

22. The flipside of that is that there are few greater dishonors than laziness. We don’t ever do anything in half-butt fashion, or cut corners, or do just enough to get by and call it good enough. Being lazy shows disrespect not only for others, but more importantly for yourself. More than anyone else, you owe yourself your very best effort every time.

23. Nobody owes you anything. And you are not entitled to anything – not by virtue of your birth, your nationality, your looks, your brains, your social status or your work ethic. You must earn everything. Sometimes, this will mean paying your dues and working beneath your talent or ambition levels until you break through. This is not beneath you; it’s called working your way up.

24. Life does not – and should not – hand out trophies just for showing up. No matter what the coddled GenY/Millenial sports leagues you’ll join will show you, in life there are winners and there are losers. Not everyone gets to win. And sometimes, the team that tries hardest doesn’t always win. Sometimes you’re going to do your best and not be rewarded for it. This is not unfair; it’s just life. Suck it up.

25. You’re going to fail at some things. You’re human, so it’s a fact of life. The trick to life isn’t avoiding failure – some of the best lessons you’ll ever learn will come from failing at something. The trick to life is how you respond to having failed. The good ones take it in stride and use the lessons to become a better person.

26. Just about all success happens in baby steps, an inch at a time. Don’t expect overnight success, and don’t feel like a failure if you’re not a superstar right away. Keep working at it, because if you do it will come with time.

Being A Girl and A Woman

27. Girls rock. Girls can do anything. Do not ever let anyone tell you that you cannot do something just because you are a girl. And if they do, don’t believe them. If you want to be a brain, go be a brain. If you want to be a princess, you be a princess. If you want to be a rocker, go rock. If you want to be an athlete, be a jock. There is nothing a girl is “supposed” to be and nothing a girl is not supposed to be.

28. There are men (and even a few women) in this world who will dismiss you, demean you or who will think you “don’t belong” in some places, just because you are a girl or a woman. These people are nincompoops and have deep-seated issues that go far beyond you and what you’re trying to achieve. The best way to deal with these people is to ignore them, out-achieve them, and pity them.

29. Don’t think that you need to look like the women you see on TV or in magazines. The beauty industry has an insidious way of making women feel inadequate for being normal, and it promotes an unhealthy body image that not only can most women not attain, but that they shouldn’t attain.

30. Don’t let anyone make you embarrassed of your body. If you like how you look, don’t be afraid to say so and express or show it, in a classy way. The human body is beautiful, not embarrassing, and should be celebrated. Be proud of your body, enjoy living in it, and don’t ever let anyone make you feel like your body is anything less than wonderful.

31. You need to get to know who Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Rachel Carson, Grace Hopper, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Billie Jean King, Sally Ride, Chris Evert, Mia Hamm, Sandra Day O’Conor, Jeanette Rankin, Margaret Thatcher, Benazir Bhutto, Aung San Suu Kyi, Marie Curie, Anne Sullivan, Clara Barton, Alice Hamilton, and Barbara Jordan were and why they continue to be so important.

World Wisdom

32. Trust your gut. If your instincts tell you something is wrong, something is likely wrong. This can be in both a personal and a professional sense.

33. If something sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true. The world will not line up to give you things or opportunities for free. The world will line up to relieve you of your money or pride if you allow it to.

34. Much of religion is a bull-hockey exercise of power designed not by God but by human beings. This does not mean that God does not exist, only that His creations frequently do a lousy job of representing Him. Don’t blame Him for it. Give faith a fighting chance. Question what you learn, and question how those in power apply it, but do approach spirituality and spiritual faith with an open mind. God is good.

35. The stuff that you feel in middle school and high school are the end of the world and that worry you to no end are things that you won’t even remember when you’re grown up. Don’t sweat it.

36. There is not one single problem or situation that you will ever experience in your lifetime that is solved or gets better if you worry yourself sick or sleepless over it. Learn the zen of doing what you can about things and then letting them go.

37. Just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should.

38. No decision is ever so momentous that it can’t be fixed if you make the wrong call. Whether it’s which school to go to, what to study, where to live or which job to take, nothing is ever as permanent as you’ll feel when you’re making the decision.

39. Violence solves nothing. Ever. Nor does it resolve anything. Violent expressions of frustration or anger – whether slamming a door or hitting another person or anything in between – just shows that you’re not mature enough to find a more constructive way to handle your emotions, and not intelligent enough to think your way past a problem.

Other People and You

40. People are people. That means there are really good people in this world, and really bad ones too. But that comes from their being human, not from the kind of human they are. Never judge anyone or decide that you know what kind of person they are just based on their skin color, the place they worship or the God they choose to pray to there, the language they speak, the food they eat or the people they love. Good people give everyone a chance.

41. There is a difference between “class” and “status;” one is a behavioral choice, the other is something that one often has no control over. But they’re not always connected or related; money doesn’t buy class. Some of the classiest people you will ever meet are “poor” by societal standards; some of the most boorish are those society might classify as “rich.” You should seek out people who conduct themselves with class, and avoid those who do not.

42. Your job on this earth is not to be better than everyone else, it’s to try to make everyone else a little better. Our family has been very lucky and very blessed. Use the fortune that you’ve been given to try and help others who haven’t been as blessed. God gave us what we have had for a reason, and those who have been given much have a responsibility to share and do good.

43. Whether they are kids or adults, bullies are idiots. (And yes, there is a level of irony in that statement that I hope you someday recognize.) You will encounter them in your life. Don’t listen to them. Don’t let them hurt you. Do not ever join them in bullying someone else in order to fit in. If you have to put someone else down or insult them in order to feel good or to think you’re being funny, it says more about your weakness as a person than it does about the person you’re bullying.

44. There will be people who try to physically intimidate you or others into doing what they want or getting their way. Most of them will be kids; inexplicably, some knuckle-dragging, bottom-feeding adults never grow out of it. Whatever their age, they’re not worth your time. If you see friends doing this, they’re not the kind of people you want as friends. The adults who do this are too immature to be worth your time. Avoid them.

45. There are going to be people in this life that mess with you. There’s nothing you can do about that and it’s not personal or about you. Unfortunately some people just can’t feel good unless they’re making others feel bad or tearing other people down. That’s not going to change, either – it will happen in elementary school, middle school, in high school, in college, and when you’re 35 or 45 or 60. Rise above them and remember that these people, when you run into them, do not define you. You can only be beaten if you allow yourself to be.

46. Not everyone in the world will like you, just like you will not like everyone in the world. This is okay and is not about you; it’s just the way the world works.


47. There is nothing wrong with achieving financial success or even wealth, as long as you worked for it. There will be those who try to assign you guilt or consider your character flawed if you are wealthy or successful. Ignore them. But make sure that you are always grateful for what you have and appreciative of your fortune, and aware that many will be less fortunate than you. This is not their fault and is no more a character flaw than your success.

48. Profit is not a four-letter word. But neither is “taxes.” Both are necessary for economies to work well.

49. One of the responsibilities that comes with success is paying a greater share. Sometimes more than your “fair” share. This is not punishment for success, it is an acknowledgement to a system that has allowed you to achieve and thrive.

50. You will find that you will never have “enough.” When you’re first starting out on your own you will wish you made three times what you do then, and you will think that your life will be much easier when you just have more money. A few years later when you are making three times what you did when you started out, you will be amazed to find that things are no simpler, and you just spent more as you made more. Learn to be happy on whatever you make, because if you look to a magic amount to solve all your problems or challenges, you will never be happy.

51. Save at least 10% of everything you make – even when you are first starting out and aren’t really making enough to get by. The tight times will pass, but you’ll never get the same chance to build up a nest egg.

52. Credit is a dangerous two edged sword. It isn’t evil or bad in and of itself, but when mismanaged in the name of excess it can ruin you. Get a credit card when you are old enough – but your rule of thumb must be that if you couldn’t pay it off within three months, you can’t afford it and shouldn’t buy it even if your credit limit says you can.

Dating, Boys and Men

53. Your body belongs to you, and you alone. Not some boy, not your someday spouse, not a teacher, not a coach, not a police officer. No one should touch you or look at you unless you want them to.

54. Think about how you saw me treat your mother, and how you would like for her to be treated by a man if I should ever be gone. If the guy you are with treats you any less than that, dump him. You deserve better.

55. If there is a boy interested in you whom you think I will not like, you’re probably right. Don’t get involved with him.

56. There is so much more to you than your looks or the parts that only girls have. If a boy, or later in your life a man, doesn’t appreciate all of you – your brain, your mind, your heart, your spirit, your soul – he doesn’t deserve the parts he’s interested in.

57. That said, physical love is a beautiful, awesome thing, and once you are old enough don’t let anyone try to make you feel guilty for enjoying it. Daddy will say your whole life that for you, “old enough” equals 38; deep down inside he’s just hoping you wait at least until you get into college.

58. Men who hit women are gutless cowards. The first time that a boy or man ever threatens or hits you must be the last time he ever does – because no man ever changes once he’s shown he’s willing to be violent with you. If he’s hit once, he will hit again. If he threatens you or tries to use physical intimidation to get his way or control you, it, it’s only a matter of time before he hits. Get away from the gutless coward immediately and never take so much as a phone call or a text from him again. If he doesn’t leave you alone, call the police. Do not wait.

Citizenship: America and the World

59. Whenever the national anthem is played, you stand with your hand over your heart, looking at the flag, and showing respect for not only the country but for those who have served to protect it. This is not an option.

60. The military can be misused by politicians, especially the ones seeking to distract voters from bad economic policies or who confuse sending someone else’s kids to fight with ‘toughness.’ This is not the fault of soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines, and you must never hold it against them. You must always be respectful of our military service members. When you see a military person, you should go thank them for their service and for helping keep you safe.

61. America is a great country – but it is not perfect. Your responsibility as an American is to appreciate, respect and protect the good parts while fighting with all your might to change the parts that we haven’t gotten right yet.

62. Don’t fall for the passion of dogmatists. Don’t be dogmatic yourself. Life is not black and white, nor is there only one way to think or one way to look at an issue. Pride yourself on being willing to explore all sides of a question, and to think through your feelings or opinion on it based on having listened to and researched everything you can. Once you’ve made up your mind how you think about something, keep the dogmatists at arm’s length.

63. You should understand who John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther King, Jr. were so that you understand the power of language to unite and inspire.

64. You should know who Thomas Edison, Charles Lindbergh, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Walt Disney, Dwight Eisenhower, Malcolm X, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson were, so that you understand that ours is a country of great heroes.

65. You need to get to know who Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Muhammad Ali, Mohandas Gandhi, Rosa Parks, and Frederick Douglass were, and why they continue to be so important.

66. You need to get to know who Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Pol Pot, Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Ayatollah Khomeni and Kim Jong-il were, what they did and why it’s so important for us to remember.

67. You need to know who Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, Randy Weaver, George Lincoln Rockwell, David Duke, and Bull Connor were, so that you realize that it actually can happen here unless we are vigilant. You need to be aware of Charles Coughlin, Joseph McCarthy, Fred Phelps, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, so that you know and understand the negative power of language to instill fear and hatred instead of inspiring.

68. History is not boring, it is the story of people. Chapters have a way of repeating themselves, so pay attention to it.

69. Take good, reverent care of our Earth and the creatures that inhabit it. It’s the only planet we’re ever going to get.

Your Health

70. Take good, reverent care of your body. It’s the only one you’ll ever get.

71. Develop good exercise habits when you are young, and maintain them throughout your youth. Someday you will be amazed at how much easier it will make your middle and older years.

72. Develop smart eating habits early. Your body will thank you. And if you do not, you will regret it when you’re older and you’re finding it hard to eat healthy because you’ve accustomed yourself to junk. Processed foods and sugars are highly addictive, and your best bet to kick the stuff is to eat well from the start and never get addicted in the first place.

73. Drugs are stupid. Forget whether they’re legal or not, they’re just stupid and deadly and pointless. And you need to stay away from anyone who gets involved with them or wants to get you involved with them – no matter how “safe” they say it is or whether anyone’s ever died or gotten addicted to it. Stay away from all drugs; your life will be happier for it.

74. Cigarettes are awful for you. They’re deadly. They destroy your lungs, they stain your teeth and breath, they hurt your heart, they leave a stench on your clothes and make you smell awful. They will give you cancer. They are rude and represent a choice on your part to willingly expose the people around you to stench and carcinogens. And they will kill you. However, if I ever catch you smoking them, you will need to worry not about the long-term effects, but about me and the short-term effects on your freedom and happiness.

75. Alcohol in moderation is enjoyable and there’s nothing wrong with it. Alcohol in excess is dangerous, makes you sick, leads to poor decisions and can ruin your life if you let it. Practice moderation.

Technology and Media

76. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Much of it is wrong, and some of it deliberately so (especially the politically oriented stuff).

77. Do not accept “connections” on any social network from anyone you do not know. This includes Facebook, Skype, Twitter or any other social network invented or not yet invented.

78. Nothing that you post on a social network is truly private. If it’s something you wouldn’t want your parents or bosses to see, don’t be dumb enough to post it. This includes photos taken on your cell phone.

79. Reading a book is a better way to spend a day than any video game out there. Books can take you to places you never dreamt. Reading is not for geeks or nerds, it is for smart people who become smarter with every book they read. And even though technology is an incredible thing, Kindle and Nook don’t quite count all the time as books.

80. Even though their numbers are dwindling, newspapers still matter.

81. Learn to write. Learn to write well. No matter what you do in life, the ability to articulate yourself and your thoughts eloquently will serve you well – you’ll be amazed at how few of your peers can do so, and how much it will make you stand out and stand above.

82. Technology can do amazing things. And I’m sure that what it can do now simply pales in comparison to what it will be able to do in your lifetime. But technology is neither inherently good nor inherently bad; it just is. It exists. People can choose to use it for good or for the wrong things. And sometimes, people get so excited by technological possibilities that they forget to consider its impact on the rest of the world. Don’t fear technology and don’t be in knee-jerk opposition to it, but don’t be taken in by it either. Remain critical, remain aware, and don’t rush to embrace any new technology without at least sparing a thought for what it might mean.


83. We are going to watch Up, Finding Nemo, Beauty And The Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Jungle Book, Lady and the Tramp, Alice In Wonderland, Bambi, The Lion King, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, The Princess Bride, the ORIGINAL Willy Wonka with Gene Wilder in it, and Mary Poppins together. A lot. And even though I have seen them each a ton of times, you will teach me something new about them every time we watch them.

84. Someday, you and I will watch Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, Singin’ In The Rain, The Manchurian Candidate, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shawshank Redemption, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, The Artist and It’s A Wonderful Life together. When you’re old enough, we’ll add some Hitchcock, The Searchers, Midnight Cowboy, The Graduate, Double Indemnity, L.A. Confidential, Schindler’s List, Pulp Fiction, Saving Private Ryan and Chinatown. And even though I have seen them each many times, you will teach me something new about them every time we watch them. And hopefully through the process, you discover a love of film and the art of storytelling and how when done well, “the movies” are a wonderful place to lose yourself in.

85. The John Hughes teen movies of the 80s get a category all to themselves. I think I will buy you the Holy Trinity (Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink) box set right before you start high school, and then let you marvel too at how well Hughes captured the experience.

86. You will be raised to hate all sports teams from New York. It’s your right as an American and your obligation as a sports fan.

87. Your generation’s music won’t hold a candle to my generation’s music. In fact, your music is going to drive me batty. And you’ll enjoy every minute of that. In 35 years, the process will repeat itself when your kids drive you batty with the junk they listen to.

88. The Beatles broke up before mommy was even born. And they’re still the best band that ever played.

89. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Elmore James, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, Albert Collins, Freddie King, Slim Harpo, Buddy Guy, and John Lee Hooker can make even your worst days seem better.

90. The Great Gatsby really is the greatest novel ever written. There are other good ones, but Gatsby is unequalled. There’s never been another author who got even close to as good as Fitzgerald.

91. They just don’t make cartoons like they used to. Your generation will have its popular cartoons, but they won’t hold a candle to the old Charlie Brown specials, Tweety and Sylvester, Tom and Jerry, Scooby-Doo, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. You’ll be raised on the classics. The only exception to this rule is Disney/Pixar, which is getting it as right today as they used to back then.

92. No matter how often I tell you that things were better in my day – music, television, movies, cartoons, or whatever else – only listen to me so much. And then go find the classics of your own time and enjoy the culture of your own youth, and take a little enjoyment out of driving me nuts with it. It would be a sad childhood if all you ever did was forcibly relive mine.

The Joy Of Life

93. There are few things in the world that are as exciting or rewarding as traveling the world and seeing new places. I hope you’ll do it often. (You’ll have a passport before you’re six months old.)

94. You should learn another language. Actually, you should learn several. If I were a betting man I’d say that one of them probably ought to be Mandarin Chinese.

95. Everyone in life should have a lucky number. It makes things more interesting and fun to be a little superstitious like that. Mine’s 19. Yours will show itself to you someday.

96. Try new foods as often as you have the chance. You never know when something you’ve never had before will become one of your favorite meals.

97. Grow something in a garden and eat what you grow. You’ll enjoy the process of making things grow, and you’ll respect the effort it takes to get food on your table.

98. Puddles were meant for splashing. I will tell you differently when you are four and find one to splash in, but don’t let me fool you.

99. The hot dog is one of life’s simpler joys. Just don’t ever ask what they’re made of.

100. Life is rarely more perfect than when you have good seats, it’s a sunny day with a nice breeze, and the umpire says “Play ball!”

101. You should play a sport at least for a little while. It’s not just good exercise, it’s about learning to play on a team and to work together toward a common goal and how to coexist with lots of different personalities. Your daddy believes that team sports teach life lessons, and he hopes you carry that belief on.

102. You should play a musical instrument at least for a little while. It will teach you not only love for music, but a way of thinking and processing and seeing the world that is good for you.

103. Singing and dancing are things that it’s perfectly okay to do even if you can’t do them well.

104. Take time to listen to the rain come down every now and then. Enjoy thunderstorms.

105. The water will bring you peace. Whether you choose the ocean, a lake or a river, find yourself near the water or on it as often as possible.

106. An animal can be the most loyal friend you’ll ever have. Whether you become a dog person, a cat person, or you love some other kind of animal, have an animal in your life as often as you can. They’ll make your life more rewarding. And always adopt a rescue animal when you do bring one into your life.


107. When I raise my voice with you, it’s because I’m trying to protect you or because you’ve made me momentarily unhappy. It’ll pass; it always does. But if I’m ever so disappointed that I can’t even raise my voice over it, that’s when you should be really worried.

108. You will alternately fill me with joy and terrify me throughout your whole life. I had no idea how to raise a little girl into a young lady when you were born, and the odds are that I was making it up on the fly for your entire life.

109. You are less than a week old, but I am already aware of and thinking about the fact that someday, I will watch you graduate and head off on your own adventure and to find your own wisdom. This will make me proud and will break my heart at the same time. Some time after that, if I’m lucky I will walk you down an aisle and give you away according to tradition. This too will both make me happy and break my heart at the same time. I’ll try not to cry until after you can’t see me.

110. You will always own my heart. And even though I’m going to do my darndest not to let you see it or know it, all you will ever have to say is “I love you, Daddy,” and I’m going to melt.

One Last Thing

111. Someday, when you are about to have a child of your own entering this world, and you’re pondering the awesome and overwhelming thought of trying to raise a good new person while passing along everything you have learned along the path of your life, you should make your own list of 100 things you hope your newborn child will learn about life. You’ll be amazed as you make your list at what you find important enough to pass along – and the list will tell you as much about yourself as it will about who you hope your child will be.

I love you, Brooke Helena. Welcome to the world.