Sunday, June 29, 2008

For Madison

I haven't held much back when it comes to what I discuss on this site. I've always been willing to get into a host of varied topics, no matter how strongly I may feel about a certain subject or how personal a particular matter. As far as I'm concerned, almost nothing is off-limits around here.

And yet one thing has been since the very beginning.

Highly observant readers, ones who've trolled the comment sections either joining in the various debates or just playing the part of the collective voyeur, might have noticed that on a select few occasions, I've dropped a hint or two about the fact that I'm a father. I don't mean a father to my and Jayne's unborn child, Inara -- although I am indeed that. I mean a father to another young girl -- my firstborn.

Her name is Madison, and she turns 16 years old today.

I've avoided ever bringing her into the conversation here -- she stands as the only thing I've consciously avoided talking about -- simply because I never wanted the past indiscretions I've chronicled to shine a negative light on her. I always felt as if she were too good for all this nonsense and I refused to sully her by bringing her down to what some might see as just another character from my checkered past -- one more person I wrote about consistently.

Maddi was always better than that. She always deserved more.

But while I tried to keep her out of the "public eye" -- and please take that with the grain of salt with which it's being given -- I might have also inadvertently made it seem as if she wasn't worthy of mention. And let me tell you -- nothing could be further from the truth.

"The truth" is that Madison is quite possibly the smartest, savviest, coolest, most indescribably beautiful young woman I've ever known. To be able to call her my daughter -- to know that I somehow had a role in creating her -- humbles me beyond deepest humility. It leaves me groveling at how utterly undeserving I am to have been blessed -- yes, I'll use that word -- with such an incredible child. I won't go into detail about my relationship with my now 16-year-old daughter -- one that's had its ups and downs, its familiarity and its distance; one which has grown in strength considerably as of late -- but I will say that of the things I'm most proud of in this world, nothing even comes close to how honored I feel to be able to call myself Madison's father.

I love her so very much.

Happy Birthday, Maddi.