For My Daughter on Her Third Birthday

Darling, life is
a series of chapters; though
some
are filled with sadness,
most retain some
kind of laughter.

Too many require afterwords that
force us
to master retrospect.

Sometimes you must let go what’s
already gone to find out what comes
next.

I’ve taught
you ten things
you shouldn’t soon forget;

and it’s not to say I have
no regrets,

because conviction ain’t
without its letdowns.

Guilty of making life my adventure;
but if I am an earthquake then
you are my epicenter

(every tremor beginning
and ending with you).

Every rattled dreamcatcher keeps
a place warm for your
unsaddled form.

Even when I’m torn between tearing
it all down
and building more;

you are the spore growing
into a flower,
branching out beautifully,
empowering me
in a world built
to devour us whole.

You taught me strength isn’t
a number so when the fault
lines get torn
asunder and the
earth feels a shudder in
its very bones,

you are the rose that
can withstand
its seismic toll.

You’re the reason I may
never mourn again,
knowing whatever’s
’round the bend,
and whatever resentful creation God may send in his stead;

it sent you to
me first.

For better or worse,
I can face
whatever’s next because there’ll
always be ten
more things
to teach
you.

Related:
For My Daughter on Her First Birthday
For My Daughter on Her Second Birthday
Ten Things My Daughter Should Know

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