My only daughter, such a week I have had!

I only hope that you are treating your mother kindly. Heaven knows she is a fragile creature, much like this fearful creature writing to you now, and needs your love, not your torments. I am sure she is tormenting you plenty, in her way. You must allow this, as it is the prerogative of parents to torment their children until they are strong enough to abandon us. When you do, the torment will be directed back upon us, only to be alleviated by your casual and much hurried visits. Do not deny either of your parents this sacred torment. Do not delay in abandoning us!

But ah, such a week I have had! I am sorry to have missed your graduation. The last plane from the Alamitos base was delayed, and I am now in the monotonous terminal of the Antarctic sound, writing to you frantically in sight of the polar mailman.

My only daughter, if you read this before I have a chance to see your beautiful face again, know that my heart is abounding in love for you. Yes, even for your mother, creature that she is.

It is not an easy time for you. We live so far apart, and your mother and I, after too many disagreements, decided finally to unmake the final compromise. It is not your fault. It was never your fault. Please know, even as the frostbitten edges of this letter find you half-iced in this fearful creature’s tears, that if it has been our privilege to torment you now in your fragile childhood, it will be your prerogative to be, not a creature but, human at last.

It is a very tall order, one unfairly bestowed. But you must, my only daughter, be human after all. Your mother and I will do all that we can to entrust humanity to one such as you. For it is your hands that will some day shape this world of half-iced creatures.

I do not know if I will ever see my way off this continent, my dearest one, yet please take the burden of my hope as my heaviest most unfair gift to give.

It will be all right in the end. Believe me.

With surest love,

Your father

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