You have bestowed a huge honour upon me. Within the first week this year, I became Yvonne’s husband. Today, I am also Maxie’s dad, just as you are Maxwell’s daughter and our journey begins!
When I first heard I was having a daughter, I think I froze a little. Ok I froze a lot. My mind catapulted elsewhere. Someone told me it’ll all be different when I see you. I didn’t believe it. You just proved me wrong. When I first saw you, I don’t think I have ever been so star-struck and terrified at the same time in my life! You were so cool and calm, eyes locked on me, as if to tell me “it’s ok”.
It is ok. And now my watch begins…
You are the newest member of a close-knit family and very good friends. You will learn very fast that you will never ever be alone. I asked your godparents what they want to say to you in this letter. Uncle Richard wishes you “blessings and joy and good life everyday under the watchful eye of God sweet MJ”. Auntie Abigail wants you to know she’s “here for you MJ. If daddy says no, talk to me and let’s make him change his mind.” You will have people in your corner every single day. The amount of love available to you is enviable.
I want you to read things here that will have value to you over many decades. Not necessarily a roadmap to life. More like a little compass that can help you interpret the many roadmaps you shall come across as you navigate through this world.
Number 1: there will never be a better team in the world than Real Madrid. Let’s just get that scientific fact out of the way.
I believe in Science, and common sense. Be practical. The human genome is 99% identical to that of a chimpanzee, and 50% to a banana’s. If they make you believe you are 99% chimp, better know they’re calling you 50% banana as well. In case you’re wondering, no there is no banana ancestor on both sides of the family; no chimps either. I just checked.
Your physical body isn’t all that you are. Eat healthy. Exercise regularly and all that, but don’t forget to nourish the other part of you that the eyes cannot see: your soul. Refrain from things that tarnish your purity. Pray without ceasing. Keep a clean conscience at all costs and know that God is real. The atheist can’t find God for the same reason that a thief can’t find a policeman. We shall have some very interesting discussions about that last line when you’re a bit older.
Never feel bad if you ever feel a little different, or for thinking out of the box. It’s part of life. A genius alters the terms of her habitat. If you feel a bit different wherever you find yourself, you’re probably a genius relative to your surroundings so brush it off. Things don’t happen to you my love. YOU happen to things so be bold. And always know that I will be crazy and weird with you anytime any day anyway. Being understood is a highly underrated pleasure and you will have a lot of that all around you. I am here for you. Your mum too, and everyone that loves you so dearly.
No matter how much of a genius you might be, geniuses fail too, but the only way to conclusively fail is to give up on all your dreams. You’re allowed to be bad at some things. The smartest people in the world get some things wrong at times. Correct your mistakes quickly and get over it. It’s hard but necessary. Don’t trip on what’s behind you. The only thing that matters is: what are you going to do, right now?
Your current squad is a positive one keen to remind you of your No Limitations. There are certain lines you’ll be hearing often around here. Very Reverend Baiden will be quick to tell you to Trust But Verify. You’ll be served a lot of “You Quit The Process You Quit The Results”. Counsel Abu will emphasize on Cumulative Effect.
Fair warning: some of the older ones can flip any proverb any day. It used to really confuse me as a child. Today you’re the early bird so step out, tomorrow you’re the early worm so stay in. Welcome the ways of the old and the wiser. Listening to those who have more experience gives you the wisdom to know when you’re the bird and when you’re the worm. Wisdom makes you very pretty. Being smart is beautiful.
You are already very beautiful and you will keep growing pulchritudinous with every passing day. Everybody that has seen you concurs. You never have to second-guess your elegance. Human beings telling you how pretty you are must be filed under “naturally expected feedback”. Beauty is already in your blood. Look at your mother! Even your grandmothers look a decade younger and then some.
Being pretty is enough for many, but not for you my love. It is important you understand that the feedback you aspire to hear should be about the talents you’ve earned & sweated for, and the achievements you’ve worked so hard to accomplish. Your looks is just the tip of the titanic sustenance you have to offer the world. Cultivate a good and humble character, and always respect your mother.
You are currently my first and only child. Your mother wants us to have eight kids but we’re still in arbitration on that. Witnessing your birth has given me a unique perspective and newfound respect for your mother, for our mothers, and for women at large. Your mum is the bravest woman I know. She’s stronger than I could ever be, a thousand fold. Try to always remind yourself that your mother has been through a lot to get you here and now that you’re here, to us you’ll forever be our baby girl.
When your Grandmama Gee called to inform me of your arrival, she said “Maxwell, your daughter is a lady! Even the way she cries, ooohh ɔy3 ewuraba papa.” That’s the honest origin of your name Ewuraesi. While we were losing our minds concerned about the holdup with your birth, the scans showed you were fast asleep through it all, tucked in like we were all born to wait for you. Your vitals didn’t even react to Dr Wonnacott serving you an eviction notice. And when you finally came out, you gave only a couple cries as if to order us back to work, then immediately went back to sleep again. Woy3 too-known papa!
I mention this because in a world where identity crisis is being confused for identity discovery, first and foremost know who you are, then be whatever you wanna be. First, know that you are inherently a lady, a very capable lady that can weather any storm, as you’ve already proven to us with your birth. Proper manners can carry you where money can’t and coupled with good education, you are a definite bonafide hit!
I do secretly wish you choose to blend your Hermione Granger with a little Billy Eilish, but hey you’re the boss. Your mother is already getting you hooked on iROKO TV Drama Movies and Cable Game Shows. I’m jealous. I hope you and I can spend hours watching reruns of Family Guy or Rick & Morty and share laughs that only we get. Oh and Star Trek. And Game of Thrones. That last one is a rite of passage. The moment you can say Dracarys, we are binge-watching GoT.
Whatever you decide to watch, remember: how women are depicted in the media aren’t how women are supposed to be. It’s always some writer somewhere giving the masses what makes them more comfortable to see. In the age you’ve been born, you can be literally any role you see in anything. The man is not always better. The woman is not always weaker. And perfection is a myth, but your awesomeness is real.
We are all more comfortable seeing you as the breadwinner and not the lesser. You’re the Boss and not the Secretary. You’re the club owner and not the stripper. See yourself always as a lady of higher quality value. So Madam Boss Lady, please do not fall for that subtle trick. If you see it enough times on screens, that doesn’t make it true. With enough preparation, you will have the opportunities to be anything you put your mind to.
Keep in mind that it is my responsibility to listen to you as well. I have come to learn that being protective of someone you love has its tricky moments. I know it will get tiresome being spoken to as if you are a child, even if you happen to be a child. I am ready to listen to you all day all year round. Remind me of this whenever I get hard-headed.
By our own selfish desire, we decided to trap an exquisite soul into a mortal world and now you are here. We accept the responsibility of your existence and we all understand our obligations and the requirements henceforth. If you’re anything like me, you’re going to use this during every single squabble we’ll have. I welcome the challenge! But don’t be a smartarse my love.
Time flies and you’ll grow from my cute little girl to a big woman in the blink of an eye. The good news is, you’re the pilot. You can fly anywhere and be anything you want. Tiptoe if you must, but take a step. That is how you devour a whale – one bite at a time.
I will always love you M. J. Ampong
Love, Proud New Dad♥