A few weeks ago, I was struggling with what to write. I was complaining to my parents about how I was rushed for time, exhausted and overwhelmed with the amount of work I had due. Usually, when I am in a rut or stressed about life, my dad is the only one who can get through to me. So, he offered to write my article for me. I thought that he was going to write about a hobby, his business, our family, the dog. It didn’t even cross my mind that he would write about me. Within minutes of bitching to him about my angst, I received this tearjerker in my inbox
So, let me tell you a little bit about Bellakinz. For the last few months, you’ve gotten a sneak peek into the beautiful and very active mind of my daughter, my mini-me, Sydney. I’ve watched with pride as she has poured out her larger-than-life soul so that you all could benefit from her experiences, literally bringing us all along as she processed the emotions of a break-up, loss, stress, low self-esteem, hope, love, family, and friends. Her articles portray who she is: unfiltered, unwavering, and inspiring.
Now don’t get me wrong, Bella can be a major pain the “tuchas”(this means a**). She talks and texts so fast it can make your head hurt. She’s stubborn as hell and has the patience of, well, me. I know this because we basically share a brain. The same beautiful, creative, restless, tortured brain. So much so that when my wife can’t seem to get through to her, she calls in the “Sydney Whisperer.” I say this not to make me seem special, or a better parent than my wife (which I clearly am NOT). I say this because I am truly grateful to share such a special connection with my daughter.
And I’m not being all that selfish. The way that Bella’s twin sister Drew connects with my wife is something I constantly marvel at. That’s because Drew (Emma to me) is her mother, maybe with a little of my goofy side thrown in for good measure. They’ve got theirs, and we’ve got ours. We all love each other, but we respect the special bonds. Now, my son will have something to say about all of this, of course, but let’s leave that for another article.
Bella, I am so proud of the young woman you have become. You are uniquely you, which means a little bit of me will go with you wherever life takes you. I cannot wait to watch, listen and read about all the places you will go (Amsterdam), people you will meet, and lives you will impact. Don’t change for anyone.
Honestly, what my Dad wrote sums up our relationship to a T. I don't know how I'm going to follow that. So there isn’t much detail that I could add that would describe us better. Rather, this is my time to formally and publicly thank him. (Although I don’t think it could ever do him justice)
Thank you for being my best friend and giving me back rubs, even in my most spoiled state. Thank you for showering me with love and always having faith in me. Thank you for pushing me to victory when I couldn’t see the finish line myself. I don’t know what I would do without you picking me up when I fall. There is no one else on this planet that can calm me down the way that you do.
Thank you for making it impossible for anyone to measure up to you. I honestly do not know who I would be without you. I don’t think you understand how fortunate I am to have gotten your humor. (Even though I pride myself on being funnier and Mama will attest to that.) Thank you for giving me my tiny gene and teaching me how to scurry our little bodies through the world together. My life is as incredible as it is because of YOU and I never allow that to slip my mind. Thank you for being my mind reader and psychiatrist—notice I didn’t say psychologist—because you pay for my prescriptions as well as talk me off the ledge.
Most importantly, thank you more than anything for showing me what strength is. You make me more proud and inspired every single day as a result of your patience, resilience, and ability to persevere. (You’re also smart as hell, something Alex was lucky enough to snatch in the gene pool.) At least Mama’s ditziness makes Drew and I entertaining.
Whether it be a job, friends, or school, I catch myself comparing anything and everything to you. I think to myself “What would he do, ” or I look back at your past successes and go from there. Nobody can tell me that there’s anyone better than Matthew Friedman and get away with it. You are an unbelievably remarkable man, and I can only hope to lead half the life you have been able to provide for us. Words cannot even describe how fortunate I am to have you as my superhero, best friend, teacher, protector, and Daddykinz. I am who I am because of you.
I love you. More.