An Open Letter to My Daughter

Dear McKenzie,

Since my last letter to you, we have hit somewhat of a rough patch. No matter what I do or say, you only want your mother, and truthfully, it hurts.

Your mother is at her wits’ end trying to mediate between us. Despite all the evidence of a child prefering one parent over the other as normal and natural and all the calls from the gallery of reason that you are only three and I am thirty-eight and that I should grow up already, the rejection still hurts. It leads me to some dark places.

The conclusion I come to is that perhaps there is something naturally about me that causes rejection in my fellow human beings. Your child innocence sixth sense is able to detect my abhorrent nature, leaving me with the feeling that perhaps you are better without me. Your mother may think I am being silly and melodramatic, but that, in my life, is how I have come to perceive and cope the demons in my mind.

However, there are the moments, like now, when you crawl into my lap on our flight to Maui and cuddle in. I want you to be happy, and not struggle with the self-loathing and guilt I often feel. Your mother is right, though. I need to keep my head in the game and try every day to engage and connect with you. I have to realize that this is a lifetime work in progress and that along the way we will experience some bumps in the road.

Your father

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