July 22, 2009


Dear Mia,

You are four years old today. I find this fact mind-blowing. One day when you're older you'll understand just how mind-blowing that is. Just how quickly time begins to fly. Especially if you have children.

Four years ago you came into the world covered in goo, screaming, with jet black hair popping out of your head as though it was making a mad dash to escape gravity. You were a contortionist, bent in half. The second you were put down on the table, your legs shot up over your head like you were attempting a back flip. We had to swaddle you to keep them down.


While the doctors and nurses saw to your mom, I wheeled you out into the waiting room to meet your grandparents. I introduced you and they heard your name for the very first time. And that's all I could say for fear of bawling. And then the nurses came to take you away, to weigh and measure, to bathe, to wash that jet black air.

The last four years have transformed you from a baby in my arms to a little girl who, frankly, isn't all that little. Your legs are long and tan. Your arms can encircle my neck, holding me tight. Your hair is wondrously long. Your toothy smile is intensely happy. Your gaze is more worldly than ever, wiser, more knowing. And your smirk is scarily mischievous.

You and I have long, intense conversations about everything from space travel to princesses. You continually astound me with the things you know, the things you understand. You and I have afternoons in which we don't talk to each other but, instead, sing. Opera-style. You tell stories and harness the massive imagination you've accumulated. You love music, and books, and your brother though only as long as he's not climbing on your bed or trying to play with your stuff. And above all, you are fun, you are happy, and you are kind. You do little things that continually reinforce this. Like tackling your brother so you can lavish him with kisses. Or throwing your arms around me when I walk in the back door and whispering into my ear that you love me.

I will love you until the end of time. I will support you in all that you do. I will be there when you need me and try to give you the space to be you when you don't. I will always kiss your boo-boos. I will always wipe away your tears. I will always cuddle with you in the middle of the night when you've had a scary dream. I will always catch you in the pool, read books to you, and make sure there are no monsters in your closet. I will always sing opera-style with you when you need to. Even when you're 33.

I love you Bean.


Posted by Chris at July 22, 2009 7:08 AM

You are just such a good Daddy!!

Posted by: Rose Winters at July 22, 2009 7:12 AM

Wonderfully written! A pledge that all parents should make to their children.

Posted by: Debbie at July 22, 2009 7:37 AM

Good Morning Chris--thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing these words for your daughter. She will not grow up and wonder what she was like or if you loved her. When she is 16, she will sing opera to you just to distract you from the boy that is arriving on the doorstep to pick her up from a date. Bravo sir, you are an amazing Dad. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Christy at July 22, 2009 7:52 AM

Aw, so sweet! You're such a good dad. Happy Birthday, Mia!

Posted by: Liberal Banana at July 22, 2009 8:03 AM

Happy Fathers day to you.

Posted by: William at July 22, 2009 8:03 AM

That was very, very sweet. Happy Birthday, Mia!

Posted by: Fraulein N at July 22, 2009 8:44 AM

Happy birthday Mia! You've got a great dad! Enjoy every day, Chris!

Posted by: Kim at July 22, 2009 8:57 AM

What an amazing dad you are - you should be proud.

Posted by: diane at July 22, 2009 9:06 AM

Wow - FOUR! Where has the time gone. Happy birthday, Miss Mia. It's a joy watching her grow up. :o)

Posted by: Emily at July 22, 2009 9:06 AM

I can not NOT believe she's four and that big and beautiful! I can rememmber so clearly when Beth was pregnant, and later when we met, when Mia was nearly 2 years old. Congrats to Mia and her family!

Posted by: Nadine at July 22, 2009 9:09 AM

I can not NOT believe she's four and that big and beautiful! I can rememmber so clearly when Beth was pregnant, and later when we met, when Mia was nearly 2 years old. Congrats to Mia and her family!

Posted by: Nadine at July 22, 2009 9:09 AM

Aww, tears already. Happy birthday, Mia!

Posted by: Claire at July 22, 2009 9:25 AM

What a lovely post. It is nice to see how much joy you take in being a father. Although I'm not sure I approve of Mia being four already. How did that happen?

Happy birthday Mia!

Posted by: bad penguin at July 22, 2009 9:34 AM

Happy birthday, Mia! I remember being SO EXCITED for y'all and constantly checking both sites. Yay for FOUR!

Posted by: Sam at July 22, 2009 10:30 AM

Happy Birthday Mia!!

I am used to, and prepared for, these letters on Beth's site...a little warning next time so I can have a tissue ready for the tears. What a wonderful letter for a wonderful girl from her marvelous daddy!

Posted by: Krush at July 22, 2009 11:15 AM

Holy Smokes! What a lovely letter! Made me all teary!(I have an issue with exclamation points today!!!)

Happy Birthday, Mia! I hope it's as lovely and fun as you are!

Posted by: zanie at July 22, 2009 11:36 AM

I hope you save this wonderful tribute for her to read when she's 33.

Happy, happy birthday to Mia.

Posted by: Ann Adams at July 22, 2009 11:44 AM

Awww. This made me cry as it shows how much you truly love her and how lucky she is to have such a wonderful dad.

Posted by: Heather at July 22, 2009 12:01 PM

*sniffle* Happy birthday, Beautiful Bean!

Posted by: Heather at July 22, 2009 12:24 PM


That is so very beautiful. and emotional.

What insight you have given me into the heart and mind of daddies. Hopefully, daddies everywhere. At least the good ones.

I love that you not only wrote this to your beautiful Mia but shared it with all of us, as well.

Thank you. Again I say Happy Birthday to the "big" girl.

I know personally, on each of my children's birthdays I relive the day of their birth. They love hearing stories about their special day, and I love remembering the day I received the most special gifts of all.

Posted by: debb at July 22, 2009 12:29 PM

Oh! Opera Voice! I still use it. I love her even more.

Posted by: k8 at July 22, 2009 12:46 PM

I have seen a thousand other posts where parents muse & reminisce on their offspring's birthday. They are always so touching. But there is just something about when it's a Dad & his little girl, always gets me right in the gut, as if nothing could be sweeter. Maybe it's because I am so close to my own Dad & I'm just now starting to wrap my mind around all the things he thought about his own little girl...

Posted by: Dawn at July 22, 2009 1:43 PM

Beautifully written, Chris.

Happy birthday, Mia!

Posted by: MariaV at July 22, 2009 2:20 PM

I'm not sure if it's because I'm waiting for my little girl to come into this world, but I am in tears after reading something so beautiful. Mia sure is one lucky girl.

Happy Birthday Mia!

Posted by: crookedeybrow at July 22, 2009 2:33 PM

there you go making me tear up again :)

watching your own child grow up. it's pretty effing amazing, isn't it? it is...

Posted by: kati at July 22, 2009 4:08 PM

Dude. You made me cry. This? Right here? This is why I keep coming back.

Mia is a blessed girl - for sure. And you are so blessed in being her daddy. But really - gotta tell ya - if she's 15 and begging for gauges in her ears or a la brett, I hope you don't support her.

Posted by: Mindy at July 22, 2009 4:29 PM

Ahh...so sweet.

Posted by: Susan at July 22, 2009 4:53 PM

Shit, Chris. This is perfect. Just perfect.

Posted by: Angella at July 22, 2009 8:10 PM

I wipes a tear from my eye and smile! Happy Birthday to Mia and her Mom and Dad!

Posted by: Maribeth at July 22, 2009 8:12 PM

Wow. This is an amazing post. It also kinda freaks me out because I began reading prior to Mia's existence outside of the womb. This makes me realize just how much time I have invested in your blog.

Good thing the return is worthwhile. ;-)

Happy Birthday indeed Mia!

Posted by: Kristy at July 22, 2009 8:14 PM

This made me cry. She's a lucky kiddo.

Posted by: Kate at July 22, 2009 8:14 PM

Happy Birthday to Mia. What an amazing job you are doing at raising such a wonderful little girl. I can't believe she is four already.

Posted by: Adi at July 23, 2009 2:06 AM

Love you, Miabean. I'll always know how old you are. :)

I think an opera dialogue between dad and bean is a PERFECT audioblog....

It would make my taking the bar (NEXT WEEK) easier?

Posted by: alektra at July 23, 2009 8:28 PM

thanks. you made me cry and I'm wearing mascara. AT WORK.

seriously though, this is beautiful.

Posted by: La Petite Belle at July 24, 2009 7:35 AM

What more can a daughter ever ask for? Such a nice dad... wishes for the li'l one!

Four is a exciting year:)

Happy B'day!

Posted by: Just Someone at July 24, 2009 9:34 PM

Wow, Mia's four! I've been reading your blog for a long damn time. This was a beautiful letter. I hope that the future father of my babies is as awesome as you!

Posted by: Stephanie at July 25, 2009 12:21 PM


that's fantastic.

i hope i'll be as good a parent as you when i have kids.

Posted by: Tai at July 25, 2009 5:26 PM