To celebrate The father’s influence on the education of daughters’s Day, TIME teamed up with Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg’s women’s empowerment foundation, to ask famous dads to write open letters to their daughters. Aaron Sorkin with his daughter, Roxy.
You were born a week early and in the middle of the night. Now I understand why I have to use ten words when one would do the trick. Mom called me from her car and said she was going home—her stomach was really hurting—and I left the set to go meet at her at the house. Every light was red between our house and Cedars-Sanai, and it being 2 a.
Katz had just delivered another baby and was already there. I won’t bother trying to describe what it was like to hold you for the first time—or for that matter every time since. The nurse taught me how to swaddle you. She made sure I understood that the blanket had to be wrapped very tightly around you to make you feel secure. My first try didn’t go so well. I crossed, folded, tucked and lifted you up, only to find that I was holding an empty blanket in my hands and a naked baby was lying on the bed. Oh my God, my father’s a moron.
I used the opportunity to shower and shave. I also changed into a coat and tie. I thought it would be more confidence-inspiring for you if I looked like a dad. And that’s why you see me wearing ties so much. I’ll tell you a secret—when I get to work I usually change into more comfortable clothes to write it in. Then I change back into dad clothes to pick you up at school and do homework. She’s sleeping an awful lot, is that normal?
Should I be concerned about her ears, they’re practically perpendicular to her head? Can I grab that stethoscope a second, I just want to check one more time? Do they sell stethoscopes in the lobby? A new father doesn’t need any extra incentive to worry but I had one. Four years earlier mom was pregnant with what should have been your older brother, Charlie. In the eighth month of the pregnancy, Charlie turned the wrong way in the womb and accidentally strangled himself on the umbilical cord and died. You and I have that in common.