Dear Kendra and Amber,
There's something special about this particular 4th of July. It's not the fireworks awing you little faces. It's not the grand finale when the booming of the explosions echo across the landscape as we wish our nation a happy birthday. It's its meaning to us as a family. This is the last 4th of July I'm not there with you, uttering the oohs and aahs with the rest of the crowd. In fact, these are the last weekends we can't do anything as a family because I'm working. These are the last nights I won't be there to tuck you in.
I know how difficult it is for you to see us packing things away in anticipation of the move. I know the anxiety you feel at the thought of starting over at a new school. I know the heaviness of your little hearts at the thought of sharing the last days with the friends that you've made. For taking you away from this once comfortable zone, I won't ever be able to express how sorry I am.
I hope one day you realize that this upheaval is taking place with the best of intentions on our part as parents. Sometimes, it takes a drastic change that may leave a scar or two, but which ultimately will be worth making in achieving a better life. That, my little girls, is what this great nation is really about.
Every transition is a major uprooting of what was once comfortable and familiar. It demands great courage and much acceptance. I wish I could tell you something more soothing. I wish my flawed brain could come up with words that will give you a moment of clarity, a sparkle of hope that will dry those tears of yours as the Big Move draws nearer.
When I was a kid, I knew there was this huge change coming in the horizon. I felt each of those seven years and when the day came, I felt like you. I cried at the injustice of leaving my friends behind. I was petrified at the thought of going to a different school, a different place where even the language was unfamiliar. It was not an easy transition by any means.
Every event was a rocket flying high into the sky and exploding in a scintillation that blinded me for a few seconds as the roar of the explosion shook my core. At its worst, the transitional period was just like that seemingly unending stream of lights in the sky, bursting in majestic, colorful flashes, accompanied by the sizzling and whistling, and punctuated by the echoing booms. And once it was done, when calm returned to the heavens, I looked back at the experience with the same wonder I had for the extinguished fireworks. The reverberations will cease. The blinding light will diminish. The smoke will clear, thus marking the end of another transition in our lives and we'll go on to make our new home a comfortable home, a safe zone where we'll continue to grow as a family.
Kendra and Amber, my girls, I will prove to you that a house is just a building, a shell without a soul, and we are that soul. It's a family that makes a home, and that's where we'll be soon. Home.
Despite the endless tasks that must be accomplished before the move; despite the overwhelming notion of starting anew, I look forward to sharing our lives with Grandpa and Grandma. You are both going to learn so much from them. I look forward to kissing your little forehead each night without fail. I look forward to planning a weekend getaway, and knowing nothing will get in the way of those plans. I look forward to sitting with you at dinner each and every day, sharing the events of our day, as a family.
So, when you look up at the sky and applaud the grand finale tomorrow while I'm at work, don't be sad. Celebrate with the rest of the crowd and wish our beloved country happy birthday.
And between you two, Mommy, and me, let's celebrate OUR Independence Day, and look forward to our new life. I promise I will make it worth your every little tear.
I love you always,