April 20, 2010 “Sweet Pea”
This is who she is...her personality shows perfectly in this photo.
April 20, 2010 “Sweet Pea”
Today my daughter, Traci, turned 18. I’ve called her Sweet Pea nearly from the day she was born. I can remember seeing her for the first time…I was there, right behind the doctor that delivered her, on the Monday after Easter in 1992. I saw her (not so) tiny blue head as it emerged into the light of day for the first time. I heard her squeaky little cry as I watched the nurses wrap her in a blanket and place her on her exhausted mother’s chest…I will never forget the look on her mom’s face the first time she laid eyes on her daughter. There was ecstatic joy and exhausted surprise as she wearily brought her arms up to hold our little girl in her first hug. I was busy photographing the whole thing…I mean everything! I am no longer in possession of those photographs, but if I were I would post a couple on here so you could see that my first impression of my daughter was that she looked like the actor, W.G. Robinson…from all those old “Gangster” movies…really, that’s who she looked like for the first minute or two.
I never dreamed that I could feel love like the love I felt for that tiny, blue, chalky person, but I was smitten right there on the spot with “Daddy Love”! A father’s love for his daughter is for sure a unique thing, or it certainly should be. My daughter changed my life from the top to the bottom and 360 degrees around.
I was not the best husband or person, for that matter, before my daughter came along, but about three months into the pregnancy something happened; I began to see my wife in a way I had failed or refused to see before. I decided to become a better man, and I did. When I found out I would be the father of a girl I could not have been happier…I have never looked back. My daughter made me a better human being just by being born. She taught me to love.
Today, I am as proud of her as I can be. I am proud because she is my crowning achievement. I am the father of a beautiful young woman with a wonderfully bright intellect and a sense of humor that I find refreshing. She is a better human being than I ever was. She has a voice like an angel and an ear for music (from her mother). So far she has given her mother and me nothing but joy and pride. Traci is a giving soul and a loving, thoughtful spirit. She loves Jesus. She’s a good citizen and she loves America. I do not take credit for her entirely; her mother and her step father have been tremendous influences in her life along with her grandparents.
She turned 18 today. She begins a new chapter in her life today. She starts on her grand journey into adulthood with all it’s hills to climb, pitfalls and triumphs, failures and accomplishments.
I’m her Dad and she will always be my……Sweet Pea.