When your Mom announced that she was pregnant, I was over the moon. I couldn’t wait to take my boy to soccer games, play catch in the driveway and watch him grow into a star athlete. Every Dad’s dream.
Then I had my first daughter, followed four years later by my second. It took me about a nanosecond to realize that I could not have been more wrong or more fortunate. No female had ever put me on a pedestal…and often with good reason…until Adrianna and Sofia. The unconditional love that you show me every day is incredibly inspiring, nothing like I have ever experienced nor ever will again. Perhaps the best way to describe it is that you two are the only ones in this world that I would step in front of a bus for…without hesitation (sorry, dear, but I might hesitate a second or two!). Your lives are so much more valuable than anything I could ever accomplish. When you were younger, I felt that I had so much to teach. Wrong again. I’ve learned so much more from you; it’s almost criminal.
Adrianna, from the early days when you would fall asleep on my chest as I watched football on Sundays in my Archie Bunker recliner, I knew how special you were. As you grew up, you met every challenge with the utmost integrity. You never gave in to peer pressure, never sacrificed your values, even when the the path would have been much easier. It always is. You’ve taught me to be empathetic, to take the high road and face the challenges head on. Like your sister, your loyalty is unwavering.
Sofia, there is no one…and I mean no one in this world…who is stronger than you. Your friends turn to you because they feel your strength and understand your unwavering support. While most teenagers avoid the fringe kids, you embrace them. You never judge anyone or anything by someone else’s standards or experiences. You act on your own impressions, your values, your experiences. At every crossroad, you choose the right path, no matter how rocky or steep. There is no challenge too great for your resolve. From day one, I’ve stressed to you both that there is so much out of your control, but the one thing you can always control is how hard you work. There’s always going to be someone stronger, faster, smarter, better looking (well, maybe not :), but you can always control your effort. Never compromise who you are. So many people say “stay in your lane”. Please don’t. Keep walking between the rain drops. Be different. Be better. You’re already better than me. Way better than me. And I could not be prouder! Daddy