Letter to My Newborn Daughter

February 6, 2014 - 4:35 AM

Last Tuesday evening at 6:19 p.m. PST, my wife gave birth to our first child, a 7-pound, 9-ounce, 21-inch little girl named Leeya Eliana. The labor was long, approximately 26 hours, and my wife endured it heroically.

Before, we were a married couple; now, we are a family.

On the sixth day of her life, I wrote my little girl a letter to memorialize our hopes for her at the dawn of her life. With my wife's permission, here it is:

Dear Leeya Eliana,

This is Daddy and Mommy writing to you. You are now five days old, and you are tiny and cute, and you poop a lot — and you get really mad when anybody tries to change you. But you are also sweet and calm, and you look at us with your huge blue-gray eyes, and we love you so much because we know that not only are you a manifestation of how much Mommy and Daddy love each other, but you are the future of the Jewish people and the American people, and that we are preserving God's word and His freedom for the next generations. That's why we gave you your name: Leeya — in Hebrew, "I Belong To God."

And you were our answer, Leeya. After Mommy and Daddy prayed very hard to Hashem to give them a healthy little baby, God answered them: Eliana. So your first name is about your relationship with God, and your middle name is about how thankful we are for you.

We hope you grow up to be the best, most principled, most joyful person in the entire world.
We want you to be a leader for God, no matter what you choose to do — to live with His justice and His compassion, with His standards and His kindness. And we want you to love your family as much as we love you, and to carry forward our mission as a family and as a people. We will do our best to train and guide you. We promise to always take you seriously and to always listen to you. And we promise to never leave you.

You are the best thing that has ever happened to us, and that's what makes all the poop and the crying and the late night feedings and the sleep deprivation worth it. You may not always agree with everything we do — you're going to be a teenager, and you're going to realize that Daddy and Mommy are just human beings trying their best. But we will do our best to ensure that you understand that we love you more than anything, and that it is our mission to help you find the best path to serving God.

Love you forever,

Daddy and Mommy