Editorial Notebook

Excerpt from Father’s Fantasy

Former editor includes story about adopting a daughter

For my 21st birthday, I wished that “my family/friends are/will be happy.” This is something I still wish for every now and then whenever I blow on an eyelash or throw a penny into a fountain. And this is something I’ll still wish for if I ever have a future family.

Below is an excerpt from a fantasy future I wrote about where I adopt a daughter. Please enjoy.

My daughter and I will celebrate all the holidays at some point in our lives. We will learn all about different cultures and religions; we will go to church during Christmastime and temple during Jewishtime. My daughter will facepalm and feel as if her dad is made of ridiculous for having her celebrate all these holidays that don’t have any direct link to her. But when she grows older, she will realize what her dad was trying to teach. And both she and I will grow and learn about
these new things together.

We will do lots of homemade cooking/baking. We will be chefs or rather … experimenters of our kitchen. We will not know what we’re doing half the time, but we’ll try our hardest to follow the recipes we see on the food network or find in cookbooks by Julia Child. We will dislike some of the food we make and will probably never make those items again, but we will discover the things we do like and make those things over and over (but only after we’ve exhausted a good amount of other recipes). And maybe I’ll actually become a fan of food.

My daughter will really like scallions. Or maybe not scallions, but some other kind of food I don’t particularly like. And one day, before she goes to college, I will write a letter to her. It will begin, “Dear [insert daughter’s name], I’ve been living a lie your whole life. I do not like scallions. I actually hate scallions. I’ve only been keeping them around the house because I know you like them so much, and eating the awful garnish in our foods because your taste buds are weird and find joy in them.” And then the note will talk about how much I love her and hope for the best for her in college and her general future, but the most important part of this letter will be about the scallions anyway.

We will travel to museums. We will read books. We will discover the wonders and happinesses this world has to offer. And we will learn a lot of things. She will learn the importance of knowledge. Not just the book kind, but the practical kind. The street kind. The general-living kind. The how-to-be-good-humored kind. She will understand the necessity of learning. Or, even if she doesn’t fully understand it, she will at least feel and therefore know the importance of being educated, like Milo by the end of The Phantom Tollbooth.

We will love each other. I will be the goofy father who probably embarrasses his kid to no end … and she will be the daughter who feels this embarrassment but will one day realize her father’s good intentions and how all of her dad’s crazy ideas have made her the awesome human being she has become.