A Letter from my Daughter

This afternoon, I left my home office and rushed to the elementary school to meet my bride, who had been at a meeting about Frederic’s (11) teacher (more about that in another post…it’ll be juicy). I left behind a gaggle of kids, with at least three friends who had walked home from school with them. More kids could have been in the house, but they had probably hidden themselves until they smelled dinner, leaving me to incredulously field frantic texts from their parents. Sometimes, having six kids with multiple layers of friends, each, has it downsides.

I arrived at the school, made an appearance so the new principal would know I was only a sort of absentee father (more on that later), shot off a couple of jokes, then drove home.

We were met with the following letter, hanging at the door by a long strand of Scotch tape, written by our eldest, who is 13:

Mommy and Daddy read this!!

I really really wish this family was nicer to each other, but that’s not my biggest wish. My biggest wish is that Mommy and Daddy spend more time with us. I know the reason why when Daddy asks us kids what we like about him the best, we always say something about him spending money. They only say that because Daddy and Mommy don’t play with us.

Everything felt perfect when Daddy was playing a game called “4 Corners” with us. I have never felt happier, not even when I found out I was going to Horse Camp.

When us kids ask you guys to go on the trampoline with us, you make up some excuse. Daddy always says he has to work, and Mommy says she can’t because of her incision, which makes sense. That also includes when we want to play games. And Mommy, I love it when I’m crying and you come and hug me, but it has not happened in a long time. I understand if it takes you a while to improve this, but could you at least try?

I have been trying to change some things about myself. I try and stop singing when you ask me to. I love you both very much! I’m not making you change this part of you, I’m asking. So please try. I love you guys.

With lots of love,

Your daughter

Hot damn. I have some work to do.


  1. Siobhan says

    I think it says a lot of good things about your parenting if your kid: a) has the self awareness at age 13 to explicitly identify her emotional needs; b) has the maturity to actually verbalize them to you; and c) ask for your help. At her age I mostly hid under the covers and tried to pretend the world didn’t exist. Good for her!

  2. moarscienceplz says

    Time is the one thing that not even Donald Drumpf or the Koch brothers can make more of.
    Whether you are spending yours in the best way possible, I cannot know. But, if your 13 year-old longs for more time with you, I gotta think you are doing something right. By the time I was 13, I was wishing my father would die.

  3. chigau (違う) says

    ‘Joe Sands’, whoever you are (put up a profile, damit)
    You and ‘MyBride’ have already done a spectacular job on ‘Eldest’.
    Take the Eldest’s advice.

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