Dear Mrs. Clinton,
The picture you see above is of me and our eight-year-old daughter, Bianca. Now, even though we both look serious in this photo, it is far from it. She came up with a silly idea to do a “sideways staring contest,” basically to see how long we could sit there like that. Despite how we look, after my wife snapped the picture, we both cracked up.
Another reason I like this picture is because some folks believe she gets her stubbornness from me. Many have told me that this totally shows how similar we are. Don’t get me wrong; she is the sweetest person and she’s smiling and laughing all the time. This is a rare picture where she isn’t.
I still remember the day she was born like it was yesterday. Like many other males, I’ve always wanted children, but especially a daughter, because I had often seen how much little girls adore their fathers and I honestly just wanted the same. I felt I had a lot to teach and I just wanted to do so, not only to a son, but a daughter as well.
We do have a son, Jamal, who is 11 now. I can’t even put into words how excited I was to know he was on the way. I can still remember months later, telling people, “Did I tell you my wife is pregnant?!” and them answering, with a sigh and a smile, “Yes…several times.” So this letter is in no way to slight him.
Anyway, when Bianca was born, the doctors told us that something was wrong and they did not have to convince me at all. Bianca behaved much differently than Jamal did. When Jamal was born, he was a very quiet baby. With that being the first time I had really experienced childbirth, I actually thought it was “just another myth” that babies cried as soon as they were born, because it was something I had only seen on television.
However, our daughter let me know that that was NO myth.
She had some lungs on her. Boy, she screamed. Bianca meant business on top of business. The problem with her back then was that her soft spot was larger than it was supposed to be and they had to perform surgery to close it up some, or else it would start to close up onto her brain as that grew. However, I did not know this at the time. All I knew was that something was wrong.
We were moved to a different, more open area as my wife recovered, while they tried to figure out exactly what was wrong. But there I was, a father of a daughter for the first time. I had waited my entire life for this. Now here she was.
I began to internally panic. There was my little girl and she was in distress. I’m her father. I was supposed to fix it. Period. And I had no idea how to do so. At one point, I said to myself, Maybe I was wrong. I am NOT ready for this.
Just then, she grabbed my pinky, held it tightly and I mean tightly. In trying to comfort her, I attempted to pull away and she just would not let me. The smallest finger I have, yet as a grown man, I couldn’t pry it from my few-minutes-old daughter’s hand. It was as if she was trying to tell me something.
Here is what I would like to believe she was trying to tell me:
“Daddy, I need you. I am scared. I don’t know anything right now. But I know who you are. You’ve been talking to me since I was inside Mama. So I know you are here to help me. But I need you to not be scared. See, I don’t trust any of these other strange people in here. But I trust you. If you don’t want me to be scared, I won’t be scared. I’ll follow you. But I really need you to be okay. If you are scared, then I will be scared, too. If you are okay, then I will be okay. I can tell that you might think you are not ready for this, but let me tell you…you are. You’ve said that you love me so many times and I know you. You are ready. I’m going to hold onto your pinky until you believe that. I promise you, Daddy…you ARE ready. As soon as you believe that, then I will be just fine. Please believe that, Daddy.”
Now, I know. How ridiculous that I believe she was trying to tell me all that. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Especially since as soon as I started to really feel it, she began to calm down.
What in the world does all this have do with you, Mrs. Clinton?
For starters, if you are still reading, bless you. Today, Bianca is just fine. She couldn’t be healthier. But my purpose of writing this is to simply say one thing:
I am thanking you because you’ve given my daughter hope for a bright future and one little girls did NOT always have. Now some may disagree and believe that is the job of me and my wife, but it’s a different kind of hope.
You have made it arguably further than any other woman in United States history. You are just over a month from potentially being the very first woman to be President of the United States.
Too many people out there will have a problem with me writing this, largely because of their ill feelings toward you. My profound reason for this, many will not understand. But this is not about politics and much of what people choose to argue about, along with much of what they dislike you for.
The main reason is because as an eight-year-old, our daughter could not care less about all that. She sees a woman about to be president and she thinks it’s cool because no other woman has done that before. That’s as far as her mind will go. People will not understand that, because they’re so caught up in their own feelings that they will not be able to fathom that kids simply do not care. Even if I, as someone she wildly adores, were to sit her down and tell her everything people have said about you and their feelings toward you, Bianca will look at me lovingly as she always does when I talk to her, but her eyes will glaze over and she will say, “So are you gonna make baked ziti again, Dad?”
Being born in 1979 myself, the first president I really knew of when I became old enough was Ronald Reagan. I think back to the first time I realized what it meant to be President of the United States. I thought it was cool, too. I didn’t care about all the politics that came with it. Adults could have told me anything and I wouldn’t have cared. I remember that my friends and I would have many conversations about what we would do if we were president.
That’s the part many people will not understand. Again, they’ll be so caught up in their own feelings that it won’t make sense to them as to why I would write this.
I want to say that I admire you so much for how far you’ve made it. Even if you did not win the election; even if your campaign literally ended today…NO ONE can take this from you. EVER. It doesn’t matter what anyone says or how they feel about you. No matter what responses I get to this. No matter what people have accused you of. No matter what foul, childish names people have called you and will continue to call you. None of it matters. Because you did something that VERY FEW people have the guts to do and that millions upon millions of people will NEVER get to do.
I cannot express how much I commend you for deciding to running for president. See, for me, it’s not always about how much success someone sees. It’s not about what others feel of what you’re doing or how successful they think you will be. I will always appreciate effort and that a person actually does what they set out to do. These days, it seems so few people have goals and dreams, so naturally, many like to make fun of or put down others who do this. I have aspirations to become a professional screenwriter, so I most certainly get that part of it.
I even commend Mr. Trump for the same reason, believe it or not. Deciding to run for president is not an easy decision. However, that’s as far as my commending for him goes. This blog post is about my daughter. So that tells you all you need to know of my thoughts of him as a candidate and person. And I’ll leave it at that.
But Mrs. Clinton, you’ve done something no other woman has ever done before. Despite what many are willing to admit, among MANY other areas, this is NOT a place many feel a woman is supposed to ever be. As a black kid growing up in Baltimore City, I had no business even wanting to be president myself, because many believed a black man was never to see that also. However, we know how that turned out.
Again, my daughter doesn’t care about the politics and the insults. She sees you doing something and setting the tone of what women and young girls can be capable of. I call this “profound” because once more, many won’t get this. They’ll be stuck on all the nonsense. They won’t understand that my reason for writing this isn’t about that. It’s about my daughter and what she as an eight-year-old sees when she looks at you.
I can anticipate friends and others responding to this with the same negative retorts they’ve given others who support you. That’s fine. I don’t care. If I lost every friend I had in life and on Facebook, every follower on Twitter and whatever else, it doesn’t matter. When it comes to my daughter, she is ALL that matters. Losing friends isn’t even on my radar.
So I will conclude by saying this. I am confident we as a country will see our very first woman president next month. But again, even if we don’t, and even if you never, ever see this, you will still never know how much you have meant to not only women and young girls out there, but those of us fathers who want the absolute best for our princesses.
See, many will retort with negativity and everything they can’t stand about you. Some will either directly or indirectly express that they aren’t happy I wrote this. But those won’t be the examples I will have my daughter follow. My daughter will follow the examples of the woman, the imperfect woman, the woman with flaws, the woman who chose to take a leap no other woman ever has and despite so many telling her that she should not do so.
Bianca will follow the example of her mother and my wife, no doubt about that. But again, that’s different from this. Once our daughter is older and begins to sort of separate her thinking from us as she learns what it means to be a young woman, there is one thing that will always be there, along with us as her parents. When she develops those goals and dreams, something can be said at that time that could never have been said before, and that is that Hillary Clinton ran for president, IS president or WAS president. This will tell her that she capable of anything and I mean, absolutely ANYTHING.
My daughter means more to me than anything or anyone else. You truly have no idea what this means for not only me as her father, but MOST importantly, for her as a little girl growing up in a world that largely feels she is still inferior to males. You’ve basically made it clear that that kind of thinking has got to go. And you are making sure it IS gone.
And for that, Mrs. Clinton, I would like to again, say THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart.
P.S. – They may say you can’t be president,
But to that, you should not care;
For we will soon have our first woman president
As Hillary Clinton is almost there.
(Believe it or not, a verse from a poem I wrote way back in 2002, intended for of course, my then unborn daughter)