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Dear Daddy: I Miss You – A Letter from the Future

I miss you daddy

I’m a bit of a geek and have been known occasionally to watch a SciFi show or two. Don’t let that stop you reading this; it’s about something else, something very real and important. In SciFi shows there is sometimes a way for people or things to travel through time.

Bear with me, I promise I do have a point. Imagine this… you wake up one morning and there on your nightstand is a letter to you from your daughter. The thing is, your daughter is only 1 year old and barely walking. No, this letter is from the future. From a future, her:

Click letter to view a larger copy:

Dear Daddy I miss you

I realize this is a bit heavy handed, but I wanted to make a point. Don’t we all (not just dads) get our priorities out of whack at times? If you got this letter from a future version of your child; what would you do differently? What could you do now, today?

Times are rough all over right now. Money is tight and we all are worried about providing for our families. People whose kids are grown always tell me, “Time passes so fast.” Small changes can make a big difference. There’s still time to re-write that letter.

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  1. Mitzi

    Wow! That letter just teared me up. Time does go by extremely quickly and it is so important to remain in tune with what is most important in life. Family!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you, Mitzi. Just like everyone I lose my focus at times, and so I write posts like this as much for myself as for others.

  2. Marisa

    Very sweet! I lost my father to cancer last fall. I just wrote a blog post about missing daddy [Note from adaddyblog.com: The link didn’t work so I changed it to your home page so they could find this post easily], so you can see the title of your post most certainly caught my eye.

    Your little letter is eye opening and telling of how many of us inappropriately align our priorities and let me tell you, time truly ticks away and pretty soon our loved ones are gone. Thank-you so much for reminding all of us to put family and loved ones at the top of the list (under God of course:)

    Marisa

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hello, Marisa. I am so very sorry for your loss. My father’s death hit me very hard a few years ago as well. I wrote about him here. Yes, time passes so very fast and we can’t afford to miss a day. Best wishes. ~Michael

  3. Read Aloud Dad

    Indeed, this is so difficult to read.

    Every parent can always be a better parent and we must constantly remind ourselves to that extra little thing every day to make our little pumpkins happy.

    As someone said – how do kids spell LOVE?

    TIME.

    Read Aloud Dad

    1. Michael Schmid

      Kids spell love T-I-M-E. ~John Crudele

      Thank you for your tweets and comment. I love your blog, and absolutely recommend reading as one of many great ways a parent can spend with their child(ren).

      All the best, ~Michael

  4. Alex

    wow!

    We have to appreciate the moments we have with our kids because before we know it they are all grown up.

    Awesome post!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hi, Alex. Thank you for the “wow”. I was afraid as I wrote this that the letter might be a bit too heavy handed and/or manipulative, though hopefully it made it’s point. It’s something I know I need to focus on more each day… most parents do.

  5. RoryBore

    I feel this letter on behalf of my children’s daddy. It’s so hard because he has a job where he must be gone….the Call to Duty is never an easy one for those who answer it. And never easy for those waiting at home for their safe return either. Would my children understand that sacrifice – “to serve and protect” – when they are older, wiser. Or will it not matter what kept him away from games, recitals, Christmas morning — but simply that he was gone. In some ways, he has a much harder job than my stay at home position — it is he that has to make up for lost time; while I get to be here, living each passing moment.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Your situation is challenging for all of you. It is so hard being the ones left behind, taking care of everything, while worrying about your spouse. And clearly it’s hard on him being away for so much. Thank him for his service and godspeed back home safely. Hang in there.

      ~Michael

      p.s. I hope you don’t mind my sharing this image from your recent blog:

      1. RoryBore

        Thank you…and no worries about the pic….it does rather tie into the letter, doesn’t it?

  6. JDaniel4's Mom

    This makes me want to cry. I don’t want to receive this letter either.

    1. Michael Schmid

      The good news is no matter what the age of our kids we can do something about this. Thanks for stopping by, D.

  7. Feed UR Self

    I am about to become a dad of twins and this letter is a great reminder for me to keep focused. God and my family has always been ahead of my careers. But I know life will come along and try to change that. Thanks for the post and the reminder! keep of the good work your doing.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hey, congratulations on your rapidly growing family! Sounds like you have your priorities in order from the start. As you say, though, life happens, so that’s why I write blogs like this periodically… more as a reminder to myself than to others, but if it helps anyone, then great.

  8. @PamelaMKramer - A Renaissance Woman

    WOW! Wish my husband would read it.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hi, Pamela. The letter is just an image. Feel free to print and share any of this. I’m not looking for credit. The point of this post is first and foremost to remind MYSELF of what I need to focus on, and hopefully it may help other parents as well.

    2. Kayleigh

      This is both street smart and intelligent.

  9. Lindsay Dianne

    I wonder if anyone, on their deathbed, wishes to have worked more.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Well said, Lindsay! When we spend less, we can work less. When we work less, we can play more.When we play more, we can take the time to be better human beings. And if you have kids make sure much of that time spent playing is with them.

  10. Helen

    Hear hear. We spend too much time trying to achieve more and not appreciating what we’ve already got.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thanks, Helen. Yep, we feel like buying stuff will make us happy, but it just requires we buy a bigger place to store the stuff, and live with the worry about losing the stuff, and stress about the clutter said stuff induces. No one on their deathbed (to paraphrase another commenter) laments that they didn’t buy more stuff.

  11. John

    Really makes you think about what is important in life. Sure money and material things are great but the most important things is being present. You can never get the time back with your kids. My wife works a lot and this is a reminder to slow down and see what’s important.

    1. Michael Schmid

      My almost 3 year old was up sick last night. My wife is home with her, but my daughter said “I don’t want you to go to work.” She seems better health wise, but it broke my heart to leave for work. I still don’t know if I did the right thing?

  12. Liz Barber

    You know for me I feel like I allow myself to become to consumed with social media and my graphic design. There are times in the day when one of my 2 year -old boys will come up to me and put his hand over my hand that is holding the computer mouse. This is always the BIG SIGN that says “STOP what you’re doing Liz!”

    Your post is just reinforcing that I need to make adjustments NOW and not later.
    Thank you for such a great post!

    1. Michael Schmid

      I do know what you mean. I’m not better than anyone else. I’ve had my little girl do exactly the same thing when I’m working on the computer at home. “Stop daddy.” And while that thing on the computer that pays the bills is important and we need to have balance, I probably say “just a second, honey” too often. 🙁

  13. Jane C

    Didn’t affect me, sorry. I wasn’t able to attend my daughter’s school plays, she was often in bed when I got home from work. I did what I could. I did my best. I provided for the family. My husband went to the plays, read bedtimes stories, took the children to the park. We rubbed along OK. The children are grown up now. They are both happy and well adjusted. My daughter has a daughter and I am able to give my granddaughter more time than I gave my daughter. It doesn’t make me feel guilty though because I did my best. I do my best.

    1. Michael Schmid

      I’m glad, Jane. The point of my post was very definitely not to make someone feel guilty about the past. All parents do their best, and often circumstances dictate some of those choices. Where we have time, where it’s not yet in the past, I just hoped to remind myself and others to make the best choices we can. There’s a reason they are called choices.

  14. Amanda

    Wow. That definitely made me take a pause.

    It’s definitely difficult to leave my little girl four days a week to go play with other people’s kids (I’m a speech therapist for young’uns). But I think the key thing is to be present in the moments we do have with our children, even when those are not as plentiful as we would like.

    Every once in a while I need a reminder to set the iPhone down and just give all of myself to my child when we are together. So thanks for that!

    1. Michael Schmid

      the key thing is to be present in the moments we do have with our children

      I know exactly what you mean. I’ve had my daughter say, “Stop working”, when I did something on the computer while home. Well, she only had to do it once. I felt so bad, and she was right… she deserved for me to be present, as you say, and not divide my attention.

  15. Shell

    I actually had a moment like this recently- not a letter from the future(how cool would that be!) but a thought of how my kids would look back and see this summer…. and I wasn’t happy about it. So, I made a major change last week and I couldn’t be happier about it.

    I had been pushing through, chanting in my head “it’s what’s best for my kids…” and then I realized that wasn’t even true and that I needed to rearrange my priorities.

    1. Michael Schmid

      I’m so happy to hear it, Shell. How has it worked for you? I’m trying to do the same. Witness the decreased frequency of my blogs and delay in returning comments. 😉 Oh, and I’m attaching a link below about taking my daughter to see Yo Gabba Gabba Live. I’m so glad for these times (yes, even that one) I can spend with my daughter.

  16. LB @ My Reason to Tri

    Omg, rip my heart out! So true though, time passes in the blink of an eye…..you’ll miss it if you’re not careful!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you for your comment. I’ve not “seen” you for a while. I hope things are okay? Yes, time passes so very fast, especially I find as a parent.

  17. Working Mommy

    It might be a hard pill to swallow, but these are serious things we all need to think about – not just dads. There comes a time in life when you have to realize that without your family, you’d be nothing…even with your fancy things, or lack of them. Family is what will get us all through the tough times and they will be there to help celebrate our success.

    WM

    1. Samantha Gluck

      @working mommy I’m SO glad to see your honest and forthright reply to this poignant post. I’m SO blessed and lucky that I’ve spent most of my time with the kids as a SAHM. Even when I was in the corporate world, I worked as an outside sales rep in pharma and was always home, could take off any time for plays, etc. My heart aches when I see moms (and dads) that can’t do that.

      1. Michael Schmid

        I’m behind responding to comments. I was a bit heavy handed writing this, but glad it resonated. Honestly I wrote it for myself. It’s so easy to loose focus on what’s truly important, especially during these challenging time. *Hugs* to all!

  18. OneMommy

    Very “Cat’s in a Craddle” and so true. It is easy to get tied up in the now, but so important to take that time to spend with your children while they are younger. I remember my dad spending many nights working extra shifts – it was always special when we got to go somewhere as a family. I’m glad my own children see their dad and get to spend one on one time with him.

    Love this post.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you so much for the sweet compliment. I’m certainly not perfect as far as this goes, but I’m trying keep focused on things like this I believe are important (and that’s the biggest reason I write posts like this). Life is too short and passes so darned fast. And yes, it is very Harry Chapin, Cat’s in the Cradle, I suppose. For anyone who’s not heard it:

  19. Kluv

    Awweee soo cute <3

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you, though I really wasn’t going for “cute”.

  20. Paula

    Thank you for following me on Twitter. I would have most likely not found your blog if you hadn’t and I’m going to enjoy reading your posts. This one reminded me of something I heard years ago. *No one every lay on their death bed and said “I wish I had spent more time at the office”*
    Sometimes our jobs demand so much from us and it is hard to keep the balance and meet the needs of everything/everyone in our lives. Reminders such as this letter are important and need to be seen, if only to put the scales back to where they need to be.

    1. Michael Schmid

      No one every lay on their death bed and said “I wish I had spent more time at the office.

      Thank you so much, Paula. I’m glad I found you. I think it was via my wife @MilkandCuddles? In honor of your comment I wrote a new post today that touches again on this topic. Have a super weekend!

      ~Michael

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