My Dearest Daughter,
You were given to me by an angel. I had known her for many years before I met you. That first night when you entered my home and my life, I saw you naked for the first time. I changed your diaper, cleaned your bottom and powdered it. Over time, that would happen quite often. It was a joy, a pleasure and my duty.
It was your first birthday party when I gave you a birthday card that is still stored in your memory box. Your mom already had a credit card that she used for personal needs and clothes for you as you grew like the proverbial weed.
She also used that card to buy you the dress for a flower girl when you were asked to appear at the wedding of her best friend. You were three years old and stole the show from the bride. I think she was jealous of the attention you received, especially from her new husband.
It was on your third birthday when your mom's doctor said some very ugly words, "Cancer, Pancreatic, maybe six months." It was the same cancer that killed her mother four years earlier.
That accelerated my quest to complete your adoption process. I paid a visit to your sperm donor and in graphic details explained why he needed to sign away his right to call you his child.
1. He never wanted you and denied you were his.
2. He wasn't there when you were born and he never visited you.
3. He never offered and refused to pay child support.
4. He never loved your mother and he never loved you.
5. He would never be asked for child support.
6. And last if he didn't sign immediately, I would kill him.
I think it was reason six that got the needed signature also the gun in my hand
Before your mother died, completely out of her mind from the pain killers, it was official. I was your Legal Father.
With my small business, we were well off. There was always someone to be there for you if I had to work a few minutes late. One of your several older cousins would babysit you if I was out of the house. Later when I made an attempt at dating, you were there with me, complete with a bag of toys, games, extra clothes and snacks. The dates never lasted long and were, for the most part with women I met while working. You were there right beside me on every date. Most of the women didn't object but none lasted longer than two dates.
The last time I saw you naked was the last time I gave you a bath. You were just over five and a growing girl. It would be thirteen years before I saw you naked again.
The words hurt on one hand and made me proud on the other, "Daddy, I am a big girl. I can bathe myself."
I agreed and left you alone in the tub. I went to the breakfast table, drank a cup of coffee and cried. I still checked the ears, the feet and the hands. You were growing up and for the first time I could see the day coming when you would leave me behind as that is the way of all life.
The day I escorted you to the first day of pre-school, you were so proud. I held your left hand while you carried in your right hand your chosen special bag with Cinderella's picture on it. It contained your needed school supplies.
When you asked why I was crying, I answered, "Because you are growing up and I will miss the little girl that you are leaving behind."
You had your mother's angelic smile when you looked up at me and said, "Daddy, I will never ever leave you."
Somehow, that didn't stop my tears.
I never asked to be called Daddy as that was entirely your own idea. I guess you got it from your mother before she left us. I was, after all, legally your father.
The years were filled with soccer, tee-ball and early baseball, and oh, yes, girl scouts. I was den father for four years before you decided that you wanted to leave the scouts. Most of your friends had already made that decision. I honored your choice but to this day I still buy those cookies.
The backyard pool was installed in time for your tenth birthday party. You were already a fine swimmer from the hours you had spent at the YWCA. Suddenly, I had a multitude of girls in very small bikinis and many boys in baggy swimsuits in our pool, yard and house. My rules applied and only two of your friends were asked to leave for the day because of an infraction.
On your eleventh birthday, you asked for a real doctor and not a baby doctor. We spend two months looking for that doctor. You vetoed my doctor because he was too old and wouldn't be alive when you graduated from high school. To you, he was ancient at forty-five years. You selected a woman who looked almost sixteen years older than you. You told me later she was 30. She recommended a gynecologist and a very new vaccine that would prevent some of the cervical cancers. I remember that day we made our first official trip to see Dr. Linda Montgomery. You squeezed my hand and left me sitting in the waiting room. The women all noticed my tears but no one said a word.
It was on your twelfth birthday that you proudly informed me that you required feminine products because you were now a woman. You didn't want me with you when you made the necessary purchases. To allow you the freedom that you needed, I arraigned for a checking account in your name and a credit card with a limit of $200. You were responsible for keeping your own records and the limit was never exceeded. You wrote the check and I made sure that it was mailed every month.
I had long ago had a saving account in your name at our bank. The rule was one half of all money you were given or earned went into that saving account. Did you ever notice that the account grew faster than your deposits?
I watched your body as it changed from girl to young woman. There was the growth of real breasts and real hips. It seemed we were buying a new clothes and a new bikini every month. You wanted a string bikini. I objected. The top was okay but the exposure of your entire backside was too much for me. You had help for this debate. Three of you very best friends were there to support you. I listened to all the points in favor of the minuscule covering of your lower body and I made a decision.
"I will look at the bikinis that each young woman wears BEFORE she is allowed in my back yard and my pool. If I say NO, she better have an alternate suit or she has to wear the full dress of panties, bra, jeans to her ankles and a t-shirt top for the entire time she is on my property."
Cynthia, the most developed of your friends and at thirteen had the full body of a woman with 34C cups, frowned, "Then what can we wear?"
I was as solemn as a judge, "You will show whatever it is to me ON your body before you go outside. I will make my decision and you will change if needed. Have a backup suit just in case."
The next two weeks were hell. Every friend had to show me their bikini. I made some interesting discoveries. Cynthia was removing all the hair from her pubes. Janet had almost no breasts. Wallace had a small tattoo in the small of her back. And you, my sweet, was a bit shy when showing me what you were going to show all the young men in our pool. Time passed and after those two weeks I no longer needed to have the daily inspection. It lasted just a very short time but it did serve to get me called The Ass Checker by all of your friends even the boys. I think the boys might have been jealous. I did check bikini bottoms a bit more discretely but with the same results.
Other males watched the changes in your body also. They were like bees attracted by honey. I was able to keep your 'dates' to group activities until your fifteenth birthday. However, I was the designated driver for you and the current true love.
On the sixth month before your sixteenth birthday, you asked if, what was his name, I think you called him "Jongo", who had his father's car and a driver's license at sixteen, could take you to a movie. The curfew was set at nine pm after a debate of several minutes. For the next two years, you were never late not one time as I was always waiting for you. We did agree to move the time upwards as you became older. Finally when you were a senior in high school, it was forgotten. I still waited up every night in my room until you entered you room and I worried each and every night.
You discovered rap music and I didn't approve.
"It is filled with harsh and vulgar words and is too graphic. You can make up your own mind about your music but I want the volume at a level that doesn't annoy me."
Just before you turned sixteen, the older brother of one of your many best friends returned home from Iraq in a flag covered coffin. I watched you as you watched her family crying as the bugler played taps over the honored dead.
On the way home, I was very careful, "The music at the grave was powerful enough that everyone I saw were in tears, even you, my angel. Music is a powerful force in our lives. It helps us dream. It raises us up. It can arouse strong passions. It allows us to see things that are real and things that aren't real. What does rap make you dream of and what things do you see that don't exist."
.... There is more of this story ...