October 28, 1954
Post # 53
I just took a short nap and am in that gentle-post-dream state that follows napery. I find that, like a child, I am marvelously rehabilitated by a small sleep, less likely to cry at small irritations, a better companion, better able to find ways to amuse myself. Fifteen minutes invested in sleep is a wise deal I guess for any age.
I suppose you know by now that you are my dearly beloved. It seems to me that I have had many daughters of many ages, each clear-cut, each lovely in her own way. I remember you as a small soft-shouldered baby with wispy blonde hair very gay at the back of your small carefully packed warm neck, dimples where your knuckles should have been, my eyes peering back out of your tiny face. A mysterious experience, unlike any other. I can see you as a leggy twelve-year old looking down the stair well at Iris Circle, when I fell backwards down those stairs, carrying a tray to you when you had a cold. Odd that this mental snapshot persists: me sort of in mid-air, surrounded by flying dishes and lazily curling milk, head not yet in contact with wood and you, hands whitely gripping the railing, staring with horror-stricken eyes (I had not yet recovered completely from my cracked vertebrae). I thought then, in that suspended second in eternity, that you were the prettiest girl I had ever seen in that awkward age and I still think so. There are thousands of other still pictures, horse pictures, sleeping pictures, Squire* pictures, Dottie’s arms pictures, all of you, all fascinating, all mine and best of all each the most successful, each the prettiest as it happens. For now is my favorite time, now my favorite daughter, now my greatest pride, till my heart is near bursting in my love and admiration and pride in you, and when we receive a report like the last one from [your counselor] I know that we made many mistakes as parents but that since we were working with superb material and because we wanted so much for you to be happy and triumphant as a person that you have managed to survive and outlive our blunders.
We will see you briefly next week. We are homesick for you, too. This is a short letter, but I do not think that extending it would enable me to say more convincingly that I love you.
For I do.
*Squire was a Great Dane.