“The greatest work of art created first by god and then by man, is the creation of life. The whole process is an amazing art in itself. The fact that it takes two artists, man and woman, each bringing their own parts of a pallet to create a work of art that not only has a piece of both artists but is also a living, breathing, ever-changing, piece of art with an identity of it’s own.”
My dearest Baby Girl,
I write to you only a day before your birth. Please pardon the overwhelming mixture of emotions as I delve into the intertwining of joy and excitement, to the selfish uncertainties of the unknown that create a sense of anxiety. I do not know your name, for in my journey with you, I have been unable to settle on what to call you. While there are speculations, I feel I cannot say for certainty what you will be called for the rest of your life. This, like so many uncertainties, plague me, causing me to be scared, nervous, self-conscious, and weak. Do not mistaken the claim of weakness to overtake the feelings of joy, excitement, and wonderment. Your birth signifies so much in not only my life, but in the life of those who will be the first faces you glance upon as you make your grand entrance. But most of all, your birth will transform the lives of Mommy, Daddy, and Big Brother.
First of all, after carrying you in my body for nearly 9 months, I have grown to know your movements, your strength, and your essence. Disconnected from you, your Daddy didn't believe me when I said I started feeling you move before you were 12 weeks. Unbeknownst to him, I could lay on my back and feel you fluttering around like a butterfly, just as active then as you are now. Upon seeing the first picture of you, I felt disbelief. I could not imagine another life resting in the dark depths of my belly, growing, changing each week. While I had experienced a life-changing miracle with your brother, I honestly never thought I would once again watch another human being grow and begin life within me. From the moment the nurse placed the wand on my belly, you began putting on a show. You would wriggle and wiggle around, swimming in your little bubble. I nearly broke down in simultaneous tears of bewilderment and anxiety. I had already been through so much turmoil emotionally, seeing you on the screen brought relief to an otherwise emotionally unbalanced situation.
Like your brother, you were a surprise. However, nothing about my later adult years have been anywhere near conventional. I had already been through the hardship of disappointment in myself on an outward scale only a few years prior, and to experience it again was not lovely. Because, you see, not only did I feel it toward my own family, but to someone I had become to love very dearly, your Daddy; and to the littlest love of my life and partner in crime, your big brother. I had waves of regret and shame externally and internally. I was unprepared, but I was calm. 'They' say that people cope with shock differently, and the way I handled it could only be a result from already 4 years of being a single mom to a precocious, head strong, but loving little boy. I went about my daily life, stuck in my own head, refusing to show my weaknesses to the negative external pressures knocking hard against my calm exterior. I wanted you, despite the inconsistency occurring in my life. I knew, that if I must, alone, I would take you in my arms and love you until my heart bursts, just like I have your brother. I would brave the frustrations, the financial instability, the endless nights of worrying, the progressive independence, the constant feeling of failure, and the surge of tears - joyous and otherwise, just to watch you grow into your own each and every day.
Life is terrifying my love, but it is also exciting and beautiful. Once you open your eyes to the world around you, no day will ever be the same as the previous. Your thoughts, your movement, your words, nothing will ever be mundane as long as you allow yourself to be entertained by even the slightest breeze. I wish for you the same as I do your brother: to feel loved, hopeful, and never alone. You will become your own woman, another tricky transition of life. We will argue, we will cry, we will feel alone; but despite the anxieties, there will always be the undeniable presence of unconditional love. I can only pray and hope to be the role model you need to become your own person.
Even as I sit here on the couch, less than one day from meeting you, I am burdened by my own shortcomings as an adult, as a Mommy. As a well-educated woman, I lack in a sense of accomplishment as an adult. Be as it may a generational stereotype of upcoming capable adults, I am struggling to feel like I have done anything worthwhile with my talents. However, I do not have a passion of the conventional sense. I wish to write and paint, but the life of a starving artist is not feasible when others depend on you to live. Luckily, you will not know these burdens through your childlike innocence. Each day, none like the last, will continue hastily.
Now, my dear, let me tell you about your Daddy. Unlike your brother, you will grow up knowing your father. After several months of drowning in doubt and fear, he enjoys the jerks and punches of your movements beneath my skin. He'll pretend to gang up on Mommy with your consensus being in agreement to everything he says. However, he's new to this path. While he loves your brother, he has yet to experience the parental connection. It's scary, it's uncertain, and it's hard. No one goes into parenting prepared for everything. Most of the time, you're looking in hindsight muttering, "What the hell was I doing?" or "I should have done that differently." He thinks he'll be a hard-ass, making sure to keep strict rules. Little does he know that the first time you wrap your tiny hand around his finger, that it will never let go.
Bare with us both. Before there was a you, there was barely an us. Yes, we had expressed our love for each other, but there were barriers that prevented us from being completely contented with one another. In the short 4 months we had been together, the highs had been exceptionally high, and the lows were nearly rock bottom. It was winter, it was cold, and, lurking in the shadows, were figures of past heartbreak, past transgression, past failure. It took months of denial to accept our connected fates. I didn't want to let go of the possibility, but it was not easy to hang on. For him, it felt like betrayal; to me, it felt like hopelessness. Therefore, I let everything get whipped around on the stormy seas of uncertainty again, hoping there would be sunlight breaking through soon.
As days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, sunlight finally broke through, hearts were mended, and the upcoming certainty of life became a mutual realization for the both of us. Your Daddy knew from the beginning you were going to be a girl. He always said he had a gut feeling since accepting your conception. When we went to your second ultrasound, I could see the twinkle in his eye when he found out he would have a daughter. I honestly look forward to watching his face the first time he lays eyes on you, holds you. For right now, the image of you has been solely through a screen, and nothing compared to what you will be once out of my womb.
However, out of the men I have ever dated, he has the most wonderful heart. He's got tough skin, but beneath it all, he is a beautiful soul. Having you will change his life forever.
And now, let me introduce you to the most wonderful, loving person you will know from day one: Grayson. For almost 5 years, your big brother has been my companion. When he smiles, it melts my heart; when he talks, the conversations couldn't be more exciting; when he laughs, the room appears 1,000 times brighter; when he hugs, you never want to let go; and when he gives you kisses, you've never felt more loved.
He has been the spotlight for almost 5 years. While I know that he will love and protect you, I also know how hard it will be to share me at first. He may feel threatened, he may feel neglected, he may feel overwhelmed. It is no one's fault, not yours, not mine, not your Daddy's. It is a part of change and over time, if not sooner than later, he will come to accept being a duo. You will be his companion, his playmate, his little sister. I'm sure he will hold your hand, kiss you when you cry, and want to pick you up and hold you. He's a loving and caring soul, a beautiful child. You, like he, will be lucky to have each other.
Currently, he calls you "my baby", wrapping his arms around my belly, and kissing where he thinks you are. He will put his ear against my skin and talk to you, only to be surprised when you move and jolt. He wants us to sing ABCs together and snuggle. Recently, he's claimed some bath squirt toys as both yours and his, he's willing to share - after you turn 6 months old he said.
Currently, he is in Pre-K. Every morning he will run to the school door as I'm driving away, turn around, and wave, screaming out "I love you Mommy!". These precious years are flying by, but I know that with all the love in his heart, he will be a beautiful role model. Yesterday we moved his carseat behind my driver's seat to make room for your seat. While he didn't like the idea at first, he's excited to be the older one behind the driver. He will entertain you. You will laugh for hours because of his goofiness. You are just as rambunctious in my womb as he was in there only a short 5 years ago. He's a wonderful mixture between being "all boy" and a caring, sensitive, sweet Mommy's boy. Give it time, you guys will be each other's best friend.
I'm scared. I don't sugar-coat the fact that I don't understand how my heart will grow any bigger or contain anymore love, but "they" say it happens. Once I see your beautiful face, I will understand. I wasn't necessarily prepared, and I've never been...really. I have been resilient with life. I intertwine my heart around the passions my head dreams about. My art, my writing, my partner, my family, my friends, my education, and most importantly...my children. I couldn't ask for a stronger mind. I am a woman of optimism, emotionality, sensitivity, strength, passion, open-mindedness, and desire. While I feel my strengths are solid, I am also a woman of worries, overestimation, self-consciousness, susceptibility, internal anxieties, disappointment, and fear of failure. I walk through the world of fascination beneath the star-filled skies and moonlight.
I love you. I love you more than "out of outer space" as your brother says. I love you more than you will ever know. I will continue to do the best I can. I will continue to improve upon myself. I will continue to live, listen, and love as you grow into the beautiful woman I know you will. As the seasons change, I know you will too. It's life's cruel joke to make childhood so short...but I promise to savor every precious moment to the very best of my ability. It may be frustrating, it may be tough, it may seem hopeless at times, but you are my daughter...I will always love you.