Dear Holly: Your Hysterical Crazed Reaction to Getting Your 1st American Girl Doll on Your 1st Birthday

1 year.

Dear Holly,

Back in December, Mommy and I proactively bought your main birthday gift. We picked Willa, the American Girl doll, as she seemed to best match your complexion and personality.

After months of living in a closet, Willa finally got to meet you this week for your 1st birthday!

I will never forget your reaction to realizing what was in that box, as you were tearing off the wrapping paper. Once you saw her face smiling through the plastic window, you literally jumped out of Mommy’s arms and scurried on top of the box.

Mommy picked you up and lifted the box up so you get a better look. Your eyes opened wider than I’ve ever seen before. It was a crazed, and hysterical, look you had.

You were immediately fanatical, as if to say, “Hey, how do I help her get out of there?!”

I must say, I saw a side of you I had never seen before. It was as if a new part of your personality became unlocked.

Granted, you authentically loved the Guardians of the Galaxy raccoon I had gotten you just a few days before; which is marketed more as a boy’s toy. You naturally can appreciate a toy that is not specifically a “girl’s toy”, which is also evidenced by your fascination with your brother’s Monster Jam monster truck he lets you play with each morning before school, as I’m packing everything in my car.

However, it was very obvious that as a sweet little girl, you instinctively were connected to Willa, the American Girl doll.

It was a thrill for me to see you that way. I am just so happy I get to watch my little girl grow up.

I guess you’re starting the American Girl doll obsession early.



Dear Holly: Our Family’s Celebration of Your 1st Birthday/Your Disgust for Birthday Cake

1 year.

Dear Holly,

This has been such an exciting week for our family, because on Monday, you turned one!

For a one year-old little girl, you sure had a lot of presents! Granted, your brother was eager to help you open them.

I’m sure for any girl, clothes make up a good amount of her birthday presents. That definitely was the case for you. Whereas your brother Jack only seems impressed by clothes is there is a Pokemon or Yo-kai Watch character on the front, you instead were genuinely excited to see every item of clothes Mommy held up for you to see.

And of course, what little girl wouldn’t love a tea party set as well?

After dinner, we presented you with some chocolate cake from Whole Foods, to which Mommy added some homemade frosting for you. Instead of Mommy making an entire cake, we all shared a big slice.

To our amazement, you instantly gave your birthday cake a true look of disgust. Even when I forced a few crumbs in your mouth to try to convince you it was a dessert, which you’ve never had before, you still turned away.

Mommy came up with a credible theory as to why you were disgusted by the sight of it. Just a few days before, Mommy introduced you to beans, which she prepared in the food processor.

Apparently, the chocolate cake looked too much liked the beans.

You were just not impressed with the birthday cake. Instead of giving it another chance, you discretely began picking it up in little clumps and wiping it on your seat, next to your leg… as if to hope we would notice.

To you, that was the best use for birthday cake.

I love being your Daddy! This is the best.



Dear Holly: A Father’s Letter to His Daughter on Her 1st Birthday

1 year old.

Dear Holly,

In the months leading up to your birth, I tried to imagine what you were going to be like. I pictured this sweet, happy, little girl who not only would be so special to me, but also to everyone who meets her.

Turns out, I was exactly right. You are indeed such a remarkable daughter. The only thing that caught me off guard about you is your blue eyes and your strawberry blonde hair; which make you even that much more special, especially in our family.

I am fascinated by you. I am eternally motivated to watch you continue to become Holly the girl, and eventually, Holly the woman.

There is a special bond I have with you that I have never experienced with anyone else. It’s undeniably the bond between a father and his daughter.

I love the way you look at me, for confirmation that you are indeed loved and beautiful and precious. I love giving you that confirmation.

Being your Daddy is not something I am casual about. I am quite aware of the responsibility I have in being the main man in your life during these first couple of decades. The way you see the world- and the way your see men, will ultimately be based on how you see me.

I refuse to be passive. I refuse to be dominating.

Instead, I am very deliberate to find the importance balance of being a stern yet loving Daddy.

You’ll need that from me for the rest of your life.

Getting to be your Daddy is an epic thing. I am so proud of my 1 year-old daughter.

How could I not be? You are one amazing little girl.

You are so special to me. I love you.

Happy Birthday, Holly.