My Sweet Baby Girl, Don't Ever Stop Skipping

My sweet girl.

I had such a great time on our walk today.

You’re only five and you probably won’t remember it, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

It was just the two of us.

The sun played peek-a-boo through the clouds, and the breeze was just enough to keep us cool as we explored together.

We looked at the tree stumps gnawed down by beavers, stopped to notice a tiny blue butterfly on a buttercup blossom, and you took great joy in blowing dandelion seeds as we walked along the trail.

It was just a simple, ordinary day but so very, very special too.

As we traveled, you talked and sang and giggled a lot but the thing I’ll remember most from our walk, is how you skipped.

You see, big people don’t skip very much. Maybe never.

We have too many worries and too much on our minds to do something silly like that. We’re all self-conscious and careful and far too serious.

As a matter of fact, by the time you read this you too may have forgotten how to skip.

That happens when you get older.

I’m really hoping that it doesn’t happen to you.

Right now baby girl, you are full speed and wide open. The happiness in your heart can’t be contained there, and so you aren’t satisfied doing something as sensible as walking. Where’s the fun in that?

No, you skip through these days and it’s a thrill to watch.

As your daddy, I want to remind you to never stop skipping.

You see, one day you may find yourself worrying about all kinds of things; about whether you’re pretty enough or thin enough or smart enough or successful enough.

You may doubt who you are and look to other people to tell you.

You may find your worth in how much you weigh or how much you make or the friends you have or don’t have, or in a person who does or doesn’t like you the way that you like them.

You may fear the future and regret things you’ve done and grieve people you’ve lost.

You may have scars from the past that will scare you into stillness when you really want to run.

You may let all your grown-up cares and heavy worries gradually weigh you down and slow your stride, until all you can do manage to do, is just walk.

And that sweet girl, would be a shame because you were born to skip.

You were made to bound wildly through the trails and paths of this life, savoring the seconds and laughing loudly, with the wind in your hair and your eyes full of sunlight.

So you live that way.

You love who you are, always.

Don’t ever let another person define you.

Don’t ever let the mean people in the world change you or harden you.

Don’t ever feel like you are less than or no good or not enough.

Don’t ever forget how beautiful and amazing and perfect you are.

Don’t ever stop seeing the wonder in all of your ordinary days.

Don’t ever lose the hope in your heart that makes you fly.

Don’t ever be content just to walk through your life.

My sweet baby girl, don’t you ever stop skipping.




22 thoughts on “My Sweet Baby Girl, Don't Ever Stop Skipping

  1. Tears are running down my face as I type this. What a beautiful piece to write to a daughter. I hope she’ll treasure it when she grows up. God bless you.

  2. This is beautiful. My mom tells me I used to wake up and skip the length of the house just because. I still love to skip on the good days, however often I hold it in. Some of my happiest times are skipping in the dark with friends. May she forever hold the joy of skipping in her heart.

  3. The skip, the giggle and the singing is the evidence of a child who is carefree and well loved. You made me want to go out and skip. In fact I hope I remember to next time I go out. I enjoyed that you were in the moment with your baby girl, that you did not see it as being a part of the your duties. That moment in time imprinted on your mind and those that read your wonderful write up. While I forget to skip, one day when I was down on my luck and heading for a very serious case of depression, the joker came along (and isn’t it amazing this is the second time in a week that I feel it the right time to share it). It was a very brief message that The Joker was the entertainer, the one that liked to have fun and make people laugh and not take life to seriously. So now when I am in that ALL TO ADULT mood – I remember the joker and breath a little. Thanks for reminding me that sometimes skipping is what we are meant to do right throughout life.

  4. John, I love the way you view life and living. I’m assuming that Zoe is an “unseen” friend. My daughter who is now 36, also had “Zoe” as her friend in her early years. Interesting.

  5. My younger son, who will be 12 in less than a month, still skips when we are walking home from school on Friday afternoons because he is so happy. I too have commented to him that I hope that he will always skip when he feels that free and happy. I know it won’t always be so though. This piece completely captured the way that I feel when I watch him skipping along. Thank you for putting my thoughts and feelings in your words and sharing it. You have captured one of the many wonderful moments of being a parent.

  6. My daughter had her wisdom teeth removed today. She is 21, but I think she probably still skips to this very day. For those who are inclined to do so, please pray for her rapid recovery. We also kindly ask that the fundies stay quiet and offer no prayers for our daughter. As your famous Southern Baptist Pastor Bailey Smith once said, “God does not hear the prayers of a Jew” — and fundies are even better Jews than my Jewish friends. I am coining a new term here: “Prayer Nonrequest.”

  7. Thank you for this! I adore your writing! “You were born to skip.” Although I am middle aged, I always felt I was born to skip too! Thanks for the reminder to “never stop seeing the wonder..” I think God is using you powerfully to uplift the world..a goal I share! Write on! And why not take up skipping too!

  8. Such a endearing message, made me tear up. Loved it can’t even really put it in to words how sweet this is, such a great father.

  9. Sent it to my 19 year old daughter away at college, after a tearful call yesterday when she explained her worries and concerns. What a blessing.

  10. Your children are so blessed to have you for a father. God bless you and may you continue to write from your heart, always.

  11. Okay, now that my eyes are dry and I don’t can see again, Thank You John, you hit a nerve today–I read and realized I have stopped skipping. I am a lot old and pretty decrepit, but I want to skip again!

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