A beautiful spine

We tried to find out your gender a week ago and we were all excited to tell our family and friends. We were getting ready to see my parents the next day and were planning a perfect way to surprise them with the announcement in person. But then you moved around too much for the doctor to be able to see and we were left waiting for another week.

We were a little bit disappointed, but then I realized that it just gave us another week with something to look forward to.

This morning we went to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital for the anatomy ultrasound and after a few anxious moments, we found out that you’re no longer just our little baby. You’re our little baby girl!

Looks like you have mommy's nose

Mommy has been thinking all along that you would be a girl. I don’t know if it’s because she wanted a girl, or if it’s because of all the old wives’ tales or if it was just a mother-daughter connection, but she was sure of it all along. The only moment of hesitation was last night when she had a clear-as-day dream that you were a boy. But I immediately dismissed that because when your cousin Gavin was about to be born, mommy had a dream that he would be an Asian genius.

As for me, I’ve been completely split about whether I wanted a boy or a girl first. Part of me wanted a boy because I think that’s what all guys want first. A boy as the oldest child can protect his younger sister(s). But part of me wanted a girl because there aren’t any other granddaughters in the family. If you were a boy, you would be the fourth one on the Barnes side.

Once I found out that you are a girl, however, I was ecstatic. You’re daddy’s little girl and I can’t wait to raise you and teach you all about life and Michigan football and boys and everything else.

Obviously, since I’ve never been in this position before, I can’t speak from experience, but it seems that there’s something more special to a father about a daughter than a son. I like the way that the politician and writer from the 1600-1700s, Joseph Addison, put it: “Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters, there is something which there are no words to express.”

No words to express, and yet here I am trying to write about what it will be like to raise you. I know that a young girl is so delicate and precious and it’s a huge responsibility as a father to raise her in a way that allows her to flourish. While it’s a huge responsibility, I can’t wait to dive in and take on that responsibility head-first.

There are those kicking legs

A part of me is reflecting on the kind of world I’m bringing you into. A world in which terrorism has forever changed the way we go about our daily lives. A world in which millions of people are struggling to find jobs and hold onto their homes. A world in which our president cares more about his own celebrity than the safety and well-being of our country. And yet, with all of the peril we face right now, I can’t wait until you’re born so I can show you all of the beautiful parts of life.

In what I think should be one of the top albums of 2010, the Arcade Fire sings, “So can you understand why I want a daughter while I’m still young? I wanna hold her hand and show her some beauty before all this damage is done…”

That’s how I feel right now. I can’t wait to show you the sunrise or the ocean. I can’t wait to teach you how to love and to dance with you at your wedding. And above all, I can’t wait to be your dad.