All I know of you so far is that you like to stay up late with me into the wee hours of the morning. That’s when I feel your kicks and turns the most. You get hiccups sometimes after I eat dinner, and I wonder if you’ll take after me and my sweet tooth.
I already worry about you, wondering if you’re getting all the nutrients you need to grow healthy and strong. I browse through photos of your daddy and I, wondering who you’re going to look and act more like. I compare them to your ultrasound and I see more of your daddy, but the technician tells me how “chubby your cheeks are,” and that’s more me, for sure.
These things are merely clues to who you are, but for now you are a part of me. You are always with me and I am always with you. We are connected by heart, body and mind. Soon enough, when you decide to make your grand entrance to the world, you will take your first breath, open your eyes and day by day, you will become less a part of me as you develop into your own person – a journey that I will be privileged to witness for the rest of my life.
As I rub my belly and try to grasp the depth of this, it doesn’t fully sink in. But the anticipation of getting to meet you is overwhelming.
I’m only 26, with much to continue learning about this world myself, but I promise to guide you as best I can. There are a few things, however, that I can’t promise. I hope you will one day understand:
- I cannot shield you from pain: I will do my best to protect you from the hurt and evil in this world, but I cannot shield you entirely from the pains and difficulties of life, nor would I want to. There is beauty in the parallel of good and bad. They work together. It is through difficulties that we become stronger. You will have challenges, let downs and bad days, but they will teach you to appreciate the blessings, surprises and good days. I will be here for you through it all – all of your strife and all of your joys.
- I cannot tell you who to be or what to believe: I will share with you all that I know and believe to be right and just, but I cannot define you – I can only influence you. I promise to influence you positively, passing down the morals and values that your father and I have built our life around. I hope to inspire you to make a difference in this world, but I cannot tell you precisely how to do so. That is for you to discover as you encounter the different crossroads of your life. I will be there at each stop, cheering you on.
- I cannot explain why or how the world works: I will answer your questions and observations about life as best I can, but I do not have all the answers for you. The “why” questions will grow tougher as you get older, and though you may look to your father and I as your guiding light, the truth is that we don’t have all the answers in life either, and I promise not to pretend that we do. As frustrating as it may become, I hope that our faith in the unknown will inspire your faith to grow where logic lapses.
- I cannot trump the pressures of society: No matter how much I can and will do for you as your mother, you will inevitably face pressures from our society that will affect you, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively. These pressures are different for everyone, and they vary between men and women. You will be told to think, act and dress a certain way, and when you feel like you have to follow the crowd, your father and I will be here to remind you that your individuality is one of the best things about you. I hope to encourage you to listen to your heart so that you may face these inevitable pressures with confidence, honor and courage.
- I cannot be a perfect parent: I will always be your mother, and my love for you will be a force in this world to be reckoned with. Having all the love in the world for you, however, isn’t enough to ensure perfection. I will make mistakes, your father will make mistakes, but our love will never falter for you. I hope this teaches you that love is not perfection and perfection is not love, preparing you to one day give and receive love in its most humble, genuine and forgiving form.
Love always and forever,
– your mother –