Thursday, March 15, 2012

We Cry.

Dear Daphne,

A week or so before Dad and I left for our trip to Steamboat Springs, you climbed up next to me on the couch and asked a question I didn’t know how to answer.

“Mommy? What do we do when we die?”

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Nine Years, Seven Months and Twenty Days

Dear Daphne,

A history teacher once told me to ask my parents what they were doing when they heard that JFK had been shot. Both of them remembered every detail. So will I, if one day you ask me what I was doing the morning of September 11, 2001.

I was sitting in my cube when my friend Lisa stuck her head over the wall. “Howard Stern just said that someone crashed a plane into the World Trade Center.”

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mean Girls

Dear Daphne,

It’s time to talk about Mean Girls.

I don’t know what makes teenage girls tear each other down so viciously. Maybe it’s hormones, or that they’re all feeling insecure. Maybe some of them actually enjoy making other people feel like shit. The sad fact is that if you’re not one (and you better not be one), you’re going to meet one. She will probably make you cry, and there will be nothing I can do to stop it, even though, more than anything in the world, I will want to.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Love is Love.

Dear Daphne,

I rolled out of bed on a chilly October morning in 1995 and planted my cold feet on the industrial dorm room carpet of my little corner of the Mudge B Basement, lamenting having let my mother talk me into taking The History of Psychoactive Drug Use in America.

(A tip for the future, Daffodil: Take interesting classes. Just not the ones that start at 8:30 a.m.)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

One Year

Dear Daphne,

One year ago today, your father and I stood in front of our friends and family and promised each other respect, friendship and love for the rest of our lives. So far, so good.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Play anything, just play it loud!

Dear Daphne,

One of the coolest things that you can learn to do is play a musical instrument. If you choose wisely, it is a hobby that will stay with you all of your life and can be a great outlet. I learned to play the viola starting at a fairly young age, and it was a really rewarding experience. Not only did I learn to make music, but it gave me the opportunity to do some traveling when I got a little older and joined a competitive orchestra. I was in an orchestra that played in colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, and several other neat locations. It was a fantastic way to make friends from other areas and it looked great on a college application.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Dear Daphne,

I grew up staring with pop-eyed adoration at a photograph hanging in my parents’ bathroom. You can tell when a photograph is old, because the colors change. Sometimes they fade, or turn brown or yellow, and shudder with a rippley sort of warp, like they’ve been stored in a hot house. This photograph was blue. Two indigo rivers converged at the point of an azure park, where a turquoise fountain spat frothy water like the skin on top of a pitcher of Berry Blue Kool-Aid. Rigid, navy buildings stood like sentinels around the grassy park. To my Texas-kid imagination, it was the mythical “big city” of my birth. Pittsburgh. I always knew I’d eventually go back.

Mommy Sucks.

Dear Daphne,

Please remind me that I should never be too busy to write you a letter, or play with you, or read to you, or whatever. Work is not THAT important. I've been thinking a lot about what to write to you, and I promise I'll do it this week.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

On Being Bookish

Dear Daphne,

As you grow up in whatever homes our family inhabits, you will no doubt encounter the stacks upon stacks of books that your mother and I have collected over the years. The collection has grown year by year since before you were born, and will doubtless continue long after you have children of your own to read with. Frequently our book purchases outstrip our purchasing of bookshelves and the collection runs two rows deep. I like to think that we are hiding buried treasure for those brave enough to peruse the overstocked shelves. Ultimately, there is a very simple reason for the abundance of books in our life: reading is one of the most fantastic lifelong hobbies that a person can develop.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Be Yourself. Trite, But True.

Dear Daphne,

Don't ever let anyone make you feel like you're not good enough. You are awesome, and they are wrong. When I was younger, I always tried to make myself into what other people wanted me to be. I wanted to be what other people thought was cool, what other people thought was pretty, and what other people thought was smart. I didn't realize until I got older that most other people didn't know any more about cool, pretty or smart than I did.