A prayer for my daughter

My apologies for not updating the website much recently. Our baby girl – Darcy Bluebell Starling – was born on 23 September and I’ve been a little busy since!

A few thoughts on fatherhood so far: breathtaking, exhausting, magical, terrifying, beautiful, smelly, awe-inspiring, anxiety-inducing, miraculous, mundane, deeply satisfying, intensely frustrating, the most natural thing in the world, the hardest thing in the world, holy… and holy crap I can’t believe we’re doing this.

Things are starting to settle into more of a routine now, so hopefully I’ll be posting on here a bit more regularly (no promises though!). Here’s a poem I wrote for Darcy – for all children, in fact.

A prayer for my daughter

I pray that you’ll scrape your knees.
I pray that you’ll roll down hills and climb up trees.
I pray that you’ll get scratched by brambles and stung by nettles,
that you’ll get stains on your clothes
from splashing in muddy puddles.
I pray that you’ll get dirt beneath your nails,
that you won’t turn up your nose at spiders or at snails.
I pray that you’ll always stop to listen to the birds,
and realise it’s okay when you cannot find the words.
I pray that you’ll know real life is found away from all the screens,
that it’s in the forests and the fields, the mountains and the streams.
I pray that you’ll get into mischief
but own up to your mistakes,
I pray you’ll have a heart that gives far more than it ever takes.
I pray you’ll know that all the gold in the world
is worth less than any flower,
that kindness is greater than status
and that love is greater than power.
I pray that you’ll fail a thousand times
and rise up a thousand and one,
and know when you fall that you’ll get caught
by the person you’ll become.
Most of all I pray for love to fill you every day.
Love never fails, love never fails, it never fails, come what may.

– Gideon Heugh