Fathering you is the most important thing I have ever done, or will ever do. I know I’m not perfect, but I want you to know that even when you’re not around, I am spending a lot of my time thinking about how I can be a better father. One of the things I think about is what kind of world I need to prepare you for. I want you to be free, healthy, productive, and happy. I want you to be inspired to do things that make the world a better place, and to be able to make and execute real plans how to do that in your own way. You are going to have to deal with a more competitive world than I have lived in, as my world has been more competitive than grandma and grandpa’s. But you will have a challenge none of us have had. A challenge bigger than your braces.
Millions of people around the world will be hot and tired and scared and fighting for their lives because the sea is overcoming the land they live on and get their food and water from. Many more will be fighting for air that they can breathe, as you know I am already. I have to raise you to be able to not just survive, but thrive in that world. You are going to need to be tough, smart, flexible, and political, without losing your unique loving empathy and humanity. I promise I’m doing what I can to make the world a healthy, safe place for people and animals by writing letters to our government, by voting for environmentally progressive leaders, and by practicing efficiency in our family. I will continue teaching you to not want so much, but only what you really need. You will recognize this when we limit the space for your toys as well as for our family’s furniture and living space. You’ll notice it when we don’t drive any more than we have to, and when we relentlessly remind you to turn off the lights, and not to waste water or food. You’ll notice it when I push you every day to think about the right thing to do in every action you take, large or small, and then to do it that way whether you want to or not. I’ll push you to push yourself in your studies, your training, and your self control.
I do this not because it is easy, or because I want to make you someone I can brag about, but because I love you, and I want you to be prepared for the world that the generations before you are creating for you. I love you Lucienne, and I will not give up. I will push you and teach you not to give up, either, even if others around you do. I will make you better than me, and better than the generations before you. I’m so proud of the amazing person you are already, and I know you’ll have a wonderful and productive life.