When we are asked who our first real love was, we reply without hesitation. Our response follows the guidelines of the boy we fell for back in high school or the guy who stole our heart our freshmen year of college. It is the common answer to the very common question. We proceed to explain how he allowed us to be ourselves, how he made us laugh and cry and that even when he was the maddest we ever saw him we always knew he loved us.
Though all that is true, the boy we fell for back in high school or the guy who took our hearts in college was actually not our first real love at all. Our first real love is the man who picked us up when were eight pounds, six ounces. He is the man who stood across the room from us as we left our mother’s arms and hobbled our first steps towards him. He is the man who towered over us, but still held tight to our small little hands as we walked along the beach together. The man who took our hearts first before any boy was even a thought was our father.
If we think of the term “first real love” there is no hidden meaning to the single syllable words. Labeling someone with those three words is beyond a compliment. The words “first real love” carry meaning, emotion, passion and almost every positive force in the entire world. This label can only truly belong to our fathers. Now, if we really think about this new label for our dads, it makes sense. We can recognize that though we loved this boy from high school or this guy from college he never changed our lives like the man who raised us.
A father is the special person who came with the package deal of life. We open up our eyes the first time we enter the world and we see a teary-eyed, beautiful woman beaming down at us. We must think this is it. This is my caretaker. Then just when we think that’s it, our father's two huge hands pick us up and start cradling our tiny bodies. We don’t know what the feeling is yet, but it is the safest, most secure feeling we have ever felt in our entire lives. This feeling is what connects us to you. We realize in that moment we can’t let go. We have fallen in love.
The first years of life we learn to brave the big bad world. We cry a lot. We crawl almost everywhere. Then we start speaking gibberish. Then we say your name. We are finally able to identify you. The smile you had on your face was irreplaceable. We, then, start walking and falling and repeating the process over and over again. When we fall, you give us support, but you don’t always lift us back up to our feet. We learn quickly how to get up on our own without you holding our hand anymore.
We start school. We make friends. We start wearing makeup and gossiping. We stay out late and we challenge authority. We say no and make up our own rules, disregarding the ones that were told to us. Then we mess up; making mistakes where we feel as if the world is ending. Our mother tries to help, but she’s just frustrating us even more. When you ask us what is wrong we are reluctant to say, it's an issue with a friend and you wouldn't understand. Somehow, with some prodding we fess up to the issues in girl world. You sit us down and then proceed to tell us the most logical advice there ever was. Suddenly the weight has been lifted.
And then it happens, we graduate high school and embark on our college journey. There we find that time moves quickly, and we're constantly moving onto the next project or group outing. In that time we meet lots of people, but one in particular catches our attention. He's amazing, funny and oh, so charming.
Then a few months pass and we meet someone. He is amazing. He is funny and charming, attractive yet smart. We invest so much in this person, only to realize he wasn't all that amazing after all. We spend the rest of summer at home, defeated and heartbroken. You catch on quickly, sitting us down to give heartfelt advice. We leave the conversation no longer feeling pathetic, if anything you empowered because now we know how to handle guys like that.
Soon after we graduate college and start to live our "real" lives. We fall and get up many more times, learning about ourselves along the way, meanwhile our first real love is watching. You have invested your entire life into making us happy and giving us the chance to be the best possible version of ourselves. Yes, we trip down steep slopes, but that unwavering security you gave us when we were born will never be lost.
We are your daughters. We are the most special thing in the world to you and you are the most amazing thing in the world to us. You will never stop supporting us, even when we take you for granted. You will never stop helping us find our way, and most importantly, you will never stop loving us. The boy from high school and the guy from college may have loved us for a moment, but you will continue to love us for the rest of your life. Your support is as stable as your love. So we decided to recognize you with a day that celebrates how amazing you are, even though we appreciate you everyday. Cheers to our first real love.
With all our hearts,
The Daughters of the World