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Tom Riles Headshot

To My Daughter's Future Valentine

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Tom Riles
Tom Riles

February 14, 2027

Dear ______________,

I'm not going to threaten you. I'm not going to try to scare you away. I'm not going to hurt you. Although I could, since I'm massive now... I've been working out every day since Valentine's Day of 2014.

I don't want you to run away, because my incredible daughter must really like you. She's 16 now, and she'll be 17 later this month, so it's totally OK that she's going out on a date (I think).

I just want to tell you one thing... take care of this girl. Babs was our firstborn, and Valentine's Day has a really special meaning to us.

Babs was born with a heart defect, and required open-heart surgery at 3 days old to survive. She's braver and stronger than you, me or anybody I know.

2014-02-14-BabsHeart.jpg

While you two are coasting along the ocean on your hovercraft, remember that Valentine's Day is also the final day of congenital heart defect awareness week.

When you are eating space food tonight, act like a gentleman, because this girl is special. There was a time when we weren't sure she was going to make it. I was in the hospital room when all of the monitors stopped. The doctors rushed in and brought her back.

Treat this girl with respect, because every day we have had with her has been a blessing. As you know, she has grown into the most beautiful girl I've ever known (actually, she's tied with her mom... and possibly baby number 3, if it is a girl).

If you do anything wrong tonight, I won't come after you... but she will. Watch out... she ruled our house at 3 years old, so you can only imagine what she is capable of now. And her younger brother Tommy might have something to say about it if you act like a jerk.

Have fun tonight, and remember... Babs is everything to us... be nice to her, and go love this girl as much as we do.

With much respect,

King Triton

(That's what Babs called me in 2014 when she was obsessed with The Little Mermaid.)

This column was originally posted at LifeofDad.com.