Through a Father's Eyes

Irrespective of how you cast your vote this past November, I think this is a letter that any parent can appreciate and value. It is no secret that I've always loved government and politics, but I completely understand what the President Elect means when he talks about his renewed passion in his commitment to this country once he became a parent. There is something about looking into the eyes of a curious and unjaded toddler that makes one just feel raw emotion. That innocence that has yet to be stolen by age and hardships. I've definitely faced some major hardships and life-changing tragedies in my life, but I still believe for the most part, I've lived a truly blessed life. It's through some of those very hard times that I discovered some of the greatest gifts God was waiting to give me. So even though I feel I have sometimes been given more than my share, I still want MORE for my precious children. I don't want them to have to face some of the same struggles I faced....I want my journey and sacrifices to somehow count for them. I want the world in which they grow up in to be better, safer, more peaceful, more understanding, and more stable. SO I feel ever lucky to have a man in charge of our nation that shares those views and that will have two sweet little girls that keep him accountable to that shared vision. There is no bigger source of accountability than seeing the needs of our own children unmet.

I included the letter he wrote to his girls shortly after the election just in case you haven't read it yet. I bawled while reading it... but then again, I'm prego. I cry all the time. (=

"Dear Malia and Sasha,

I know that you've both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn't have let you have. But I also know that it hasn't always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn't make up for all the time we've been apart. I know how much I've missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me-about how I'd make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential-schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college-even if their parents aren't rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.

I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you'll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.

Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country-but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free-that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility. That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.

She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better-and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It's a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.

I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you've had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much-although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.

These are the things I want for you-to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That's why I've taken our family on this great adventure.

I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.

Love, Dad"

1 comment:

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

Oh, thank you for posting this! I hadn't seen it. Gosh, just makes me love him!