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Old 01-19-2006, 07:29 PM   #1
mr. ryan
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I wrote this essay when I was still in school and when Amaya was about a year and half years old..it was written a couple of months before I dropped out, so I was 15 when I wrote it. The assignment was to write about something that changed you/your life. Just thought I'd share it.


When I was fourteen years old, a beautiful baby girl with her mother�s eyes and my fierce determination to beat all odds stole my heart forever. She burst into my life like a lit cannon on August 19, 2002, knocking my world down from its preconceived pedestal of knowledge, need, and happiness, and presenting a whole new world for me to thrive in. This moment, the arrival of my daughter, changed not only the course and way of my life forever, but changed ME as well.

I first laid eyes on her, my beautiful little baby, when she was just a couple of hours old, hooked up to wires and IVs of all kinds, in an incubator because she was born too small and couldn�t breathe correctly. The doctor didn�t know if she would live. I watched her, struggling for life, her little chest rising and falling rapidly as her tiny body just tried to stay alive. In that moment, as I watched her with a mounting pressure in my chest, her little eyes opened. She looked right at me as if she knew exactly who I was and, in fact, as if she�d been waiting for me to come visit. The pressure subsided as I looked at her. I was hooked. I lost myself right then and there in those big blue eyes, and I still haven�t quite found that person I used to be.

Every tiny detail about my life changed instantly. I aged about twenty years in less than twenty minutes. At home, I got rid of the heavy metal posters in my bedroom just because they might have scared the baby. My room itself became increasingly pinker. I spent the money I�d been saving for a bike on a more important set of wheels�a stroller. My skateboard and guitar�both of which had previously been so important to me�collected dust in the closet. I went to the park most days after school, not to smoke weed like most kids my age were doing, but to push my daughter on the swings and watch her smile. I stopped shopping at Pac Sun and Hot Topic for myself and started shopping at the Baby Gap and Babies R Us for her. I still stayed up late, but not to hang out with friends or play video games. I stayed up late singing my daughter to sleep. I said and did things I never imagined myself saying or doing. Inside and out, I changed, for the better.

I learned a lot, too. I had to learn�it comes with the territory. I learned how to change diapers. I learned how to cook, clean, and do my own laundry. Most of my friends complained that they had to take the trash out once a week, while I was doing ten times more than that every hour. I learned just the right way to take care of a baby. I became an expert at children�s books, formula, Blues Clues, and cutting coupons. I learned a whole lot about the essentials, but most importantly, I learned how to let myself love someone completely and wholly, without fear. I learned to totally depend on someone else. It�s easy to see that my daughter needs me, but in reality, I need her just as much.

My reputation became tainted, my friends few, and my freedom practically non-existent. But I don�t even care. I have something ten thousand times better than all of those things put together�my daughter.

I rarely leave the house after school and work and I won�t pretend that all of it is easy or that I enjoy it. Quite the opposite, in fact. I don�t complain, because like my parents keep reminding me, all of this is my fault. I made a baby, now I have to take care of her�so I try my best not to complain. It�s hard, but as hard as it is, I know it would be so much harder to leave or give my daughter away. Maybe it�s selfishness that makes me stick by her, maybe it�s a desire to prove myself and be better than my own father is, or maybe it�s something else entirely. For whatever reason, I�ve kept her. I�ve not only kept her, I�ve lived for her. I�ve based my entire life around her. She�s kept me alive, somewhat sane, and happy this past year and a half. When I think I have nothing, I have her, and therefore I have everything.

To know that someone I care for so much actually cares for me just as much�there�s nothing else worth knowing. My baby misses me when I�m gone, cries when I leave, smiles and rejoices when I come home. Her first word was �dada�, her first step was toward my open arms, she can say �I love you�, she�s growing up so much and learning every day, and I�ve been here to experience it all�the good, the bad, the wonderful. I wouldn�t change or trade in these experiences for anything in the world. Every single moment I have with my daughter is precious. I plan to devote my entire life to her. I�m committed to my little girl for as long as I live. Everything I do is for her.

I�m going to drop out of high school in 3 months, when I turn sixteen, because I need to in order to fully support myself and my daughter. So why am I bothering to write this paper? you might be asking yourself. Like everything else, I�m doing it for my daughter. I figure one day she�ll ask me about her mom (who is no longer in her life), and about how she was conceived, and I do not want her think of herself as a mistake. She was not a mistake. She will never be a mistake. She was born for a reason, and I intend to make her aware of it. I�ll show her this paper someday. So give me whatever grade you must�it doesn�t matter. Grades don�t matter. Even school doesn�t matter. Everyone thinks it does, but it doesn�t�there are bigger and better things. There are things worth giving up a future for. I don�t need a future�I�ve got an eternity of butterfly kisses, baby-toothed smiles, goodnight stories, and hugs around my neck so tight it hurts. I don�t need or want anything else.
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Old 01-19-2006, 07:49 PM   #2
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Beautiful paper Ryan. I'm sure you have put into words what most of us here feel for our own children.

By the way, what grade did you get?
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Old 01-19-2006, 07:54 PM   #3
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I really enjoyed your essay and wanted to say that you sound very mature for someone your age. Thank you for sharing! Keep being a great dad, that is really special and so rare.
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Old 01-19-2006, 09:51 PM   #4
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Thanks.

I got an A- on it
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Old 01-19-2006, 10:02 PM   #5
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Mr. Ryan,

You get an A+ from me young man (with a very old soul).
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Old 01-20-2006, 10:04 AM   #6
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Cut it out with the 'Old' stuff, Carla, your not.
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Old 01-20-2006, 10:30 AM   #7
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Ryan~~~ Thank you so much for sharing that paper and love for your daughter with us! ((as I wipe tears away...)) You are an amazing father, you have beat the odds, never giving up on your future. I know times have been beyond difficult for you - I am proud that you have kept fighting!
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Old 01-20-2006, 11:54 AM   #8
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You are amazing, but please find a way to further your education. Your daughter will benefit more from you doing that, than anything. I don't how or what, but with determination, you will find a way.
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Old 01-20-2006, 01:57 PM   #9
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Hi Ryan...
I'm new here and have just stumbled across your essay. After wiping the tears away...not only for the way you expressed your love for your daughter..but for your determination...your courage...and your dedication to making her your priority. There are many people who become parents out there that are much older than you with none of those qualities or dedication to the future of their children. You are doing a wonderful job at setting an example for her already. One more example that you can set for her is the value of education. This essay shows that you are a bright, articulate young man that can go places...and you can do that with your daughter right there watching. Do it for her, Ryan. I know I'm not the only one sitting here thinking that and please know that you have my support as well as I'm sure the support of most everyone here. We'll be behind you all the way...and if ever you feel like you cant do it...think of all of us out here. We know you can....What a wonderful dad you are...and what a beautiful little angel you have....
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Old 01-20-2006, 03:13 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone

As a matter of fact, I took the test to get my GED a couple of days ago, and I'm going back to school as soon as possible...first, my girlfriend and I need to find an apartment together, and after that, I'll be going back to school. I'm sick of making $6 an hour and don't wanna be doing that forever. I want Amaya to be proud of me, I'll do whatever it takes to provide for her and make her proud..
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Old 01-20-2006, 07:03 PM   #11
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Hi Ryan, make sure you go to the Fafsa.ed.gov site and register for a Pell Grant. My son also had his daughter young (15). She is 2 also born August 02. My son is starting his second semester of college. You do not need your parents income info. As a parent you are considered an independant and ALL your school,books, and supplies will be paid for. You should also qualify for full daycare benefits while you work and go to school. Feel free to contact me if you need any help with your grant info. Good Luck. Shana
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Old 01-20-2006, 07:21 PM   #12
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Ryan!

Great for you going back to school. Keep it going. Everyone is right it is an incredible lesson to teach your child: the value of a good education. I am trying to set the same example myself. I have been back in school for two years now.

Mr. B. No cracks about being old here. Mr. Ryan is a young man (to many of us) but, he seems to have a very old and wise soul. My daughter has a soul like that.
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Old 02-04-2006, 10:00 PM   #13
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Ryan,
Congrats on getting back on the schooltrack. You'll do it. Just the same way you have cared for Maya when life has been rough. You'll get thru school so that you can give her a better life.

That is a fantastic essay. You are such a great parent, and keep it up!
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Old 02-14-2006, 06:06 PM   #14
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Congrats on going back to school. I wish you and your daughter God's grace. You don't need luck because you will persevere.
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