[dropcap]T[/dropcap]o the child I’ve never had, and probably never will:
If you were a girl, I’d pray you weren’t too beautiful, but plain and average-looking, like your daddy. There are too many good-looking people in the world as it is. To hell with perfect faces; be the prettiest soul. And if you were a boy, I’d want you to be chubby, and slow on the baseball field. Being mediocre is more fun than being the best.
No matter who you are, I want you to climb trees, and garner lots of scrapes. They’ll decorate your skin with memories that become good stories with age.
Try to learn the difference between good and bad biscuits. Eat fried gizzards, livers, and gristle whenever possible. Everyone reaches for the drumsticks first; they’re missing out. And I want you to eat too much ice cream. Life’s too short not to eat ice cream. Learn as many jokes as you can, from start to finish. Never, ever rush the punchline.
And, I wish you didn’t have to watch someone you love die. It feels like losing your face, your stomach, and your mind all at once. But one day you will, and it will make you fully human. It’s part of this mysterious suffrage we call life.
Love someone I’d never choose for you. Make choices that might embarrass me. Don’t pay attention to anyone’s advice unless you want to. Not even mine. Because the truth is, darling, I’m no different than you are. I don’t know a damn thing about life. And I don’t know much about love.
All I know is that it’s harder for folks who know they’re good-looking.