So, we’re going to be parents. Most of you already knew but if you didn’t, there it is. I’m a little more than 18 weeks pregnant with what we’re calling Squish, for now.
It’s quite an odd feeling to be so in love with someone you’ve not yet met. Someone who, the last time you saw in black and white, looked like a paisley and not a human. But I do so damned much.
Well, I have some things to discuss with you, Squish.
First off, we are not nor will we be perfect parents, if there is a thing (there isn’t). And I am not sorry for this. You see, this thing happens when your parents make mistakes, as mine and I’m sure Daddy’s did. You learn with them, you see them for the humans they are, and you love them through it. And we, despite our shortcomings, will love you with a ferocity you’ll never know or understand. I promise you forever, we will.
Secondly, you have a big brother and sister here on the outside waiting for you. Harley was Mommy’s first baby. Daddy bought him when he had too many Grateful Dead teas at Logan’s in North Carolina to keep Mommy company while he went off to be brave and fight bad guys on the other side of the world. Harley ate a lot of Mommy’s shoes and slobbers everywhere. Mommy taught him manners and he taught Mommy a lot of patience.
Dyna-Mo survived some very bad people doing some very bad things to her when she was just a tiny baby (even tinier than you’ll be when you’re born!). Neither Mommy, Daddy and especially not Harley wanted another doggie but we had to save her and she saved us. Now, Dyna and Harley are the best two friends. You’ll be their third.
You are not allowed to pull on their tails or their ears. They don’t like that. Harley loves when you rub his chest and Dyna-Mo will give you lots of kisses in exchange for belly rubs. When you get a little bigger, you can vacuum Harley. He’s a weirdo and loves that. Plus, it keeps his hair out of your cereal bowl…trust me.
They’re going to protect you and play with you and love you like we do. One day, they’re going to get old and have to go away forever. We will all be sad but we want you to make lots of memories and love them lots while you can. You’ll never forget them and they’ll never forget you.
You’re going to spend your first few years in a small house. Mommy and Daddy moved way up North to be back home with all of your family that loves you so much. We couldn’t afford to buy a big house for you and the doggies, right away. The cool thing is, this little tiny house is where Mommy and Uncle B did a lot of growing up and spent a lot of summers.
I hope that you eat the sour apples from the trees, go get sand in your shoes in the lot out back, learn how to make blades of grass whistle and stand beneath the big, very old Oak in the backyard that we used to swing from.
We know the linoleum is pink and the siding is bright blue but there’s a lot of love in this house grown in some very old dirt by your great grandpa and grandma. We plan on continuing in that fashion.
We have high hopes for you, Squish. Most parents do. Whatever you do, wherever you go and whomever you love, do it with your whole being. We’ll always encourage you to follow your heart and be the happiest individual you can be.
That being said, Daddy and I aren’t always going to seem like we’re being nice to you. Loving people, things and yourself comes from practicing respect and discipline. We will tell you when you’re being naughty, when you’re hurting someone or something and we might get upset with you if you scare us.
We’re going to be here to help you navigate the world and the way you feel toward it. It’s big and confusing and sometimes it’s very scary. We don’t want you to fear or withdraw from the things you don’t understand. We’re always going to push you to expand your knowledge of things and pursue the things that catch your interest. We’ll always try to facilitate ways for you to grow even if that means letting you do it alone.
Daddy and I will always do our best to explain things to you honestly and in ways you can understand. When you ask tough questions, sometimes we may not have an answer right away. Sometimes we might not answer you at all because we want you to find the answer yourself. Most importantly, we don’t ever want you to be scared to ask us anything. You’re going to make your own friends and be influenced by a lot of things in your life. We’ll always keep your best interests in mind and do our best to guide you the right way.
Here’s the last thing I’ll say for now, my love. Mommy’s a writer. That means a few things. Mommy talks and thinks a lot. Mommy will read to you and herself and sometimes Daddy, too. You will receive many poems, haikus and love letters that you’ll likely grow sick of. She started writing when she was six and hasn’t been able to stop since then. Starting mostly for fun and to get her feelings out of her brain, it’s growing into something bigger and better.
Now Mommy writes for other people who can’t find the time or the right words. And I’ll tell you a secret: when Mommy first got published and received her first tiny paycheck for an article she wrote, she held it to her heart and cried. Not because she was sad, but because she never thought it would ever become what it has. She finally became, in a small way, what she had been wanting to be since she was six.
Mommy wants you to find that for yourself. That one thing that makes you feel special, lights a fire in your belly and creates a quiet in your soul. She hopes you find enough of whatever will feed your soul and explode into the night, brilliant and soft.
And while there’s a bajillion writers in the world writing things just like this in the eternity of time, we are unique, you and I. I’m the only one writing this to you, my dear. This is a brand new chapter in our story but it’s the preface of your whole life. We can’t wait for it to begin.