Friday, November 2, 2012

A Letter to my Son: The First of Many

Dear Canon,

Canon Patrick's first photo
I have done the virtual equivalent of pulling out a piece of paper, jotting down a few words, and crumpling it up and throwing it away at least a dozen times to try get this, my first letter to you, out onto paper (or the screen, as it were). I started to write to you when I first felt you moving in my womb, long before I knew what your name would be. I tried another time after a moment of intense bonding with you that hit me like a load of bricks (but a warm, pleasant, overwhelmingly full of love load of bricks). Then again after our ultrasound and finding out I was having a son.

A son.

Our son.

My son.

When I was pregnant with your sister, your father asked me if I’d be upset if it was a boy. It was no secret that I had always wanted a daughter; I’d had her named picked out since I was a teenager, and as a proud and outspoken feminist, I was compelled to bring a girl into the world and teach her to take it by storm and show it that girls and women are powerful and strong and equal and human. And so it took me a minute to answer his question, although I had been giving it some thought. The conclusion I came to was that, while I desperately wanted a daughter, I knew that a man as amazing as your father is would help me to raise an equally amazing son, and I knew how blessed this world would be to have another man even remotely like your father in it. I was compelled to bring a boy into the world and teach him to take it by storm and show it that boys and men are sensitive and compassionate and nurturing and human.  

And now here you are, growing inside of me, and I am overcome with anticipation of the joys and challenges of raising a son in this complicated and confusing world. See, I have an intimate understanding of what it’s like to be a girl growing up in this world, and what it means to be a woman in this world, but the experience of growing from a boy into a man is foreign to me. While my lack of this type of experience allows some fear and uncertainty to creep in, I am filled with gratitude for the man who will be my partner in raising you into someone who we hope will embrace our values and learn to treat everyone he encounters with compassion and respect. I trust that together, we will love and nurture you, guide and teach you, celebrate and appreciate you, with all that we have. Together, all four of us, you, your sister, your father, and I will continue to blaze this trail, to learn, and grow, and laugh together.

Our family of four...pumpkins!
As we navigate the path of raising you, alongside your sister, there will be stumbles and falls. In the few short years I've been a parent already, I have learned that even with the best of intentions, I will make mistakes, and that those mistakes themselves offer opportunities to both teach and learn. They provide opportunities to apologize and to seek forgiveness, and to fall and get back up.

Canon's first costume. :)
In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy these last few months of my pregnancy with you. I will marvel at the strength of your movements and the bizarre ways my belly moves along with you. I will nourish you and myself as I do my best to prepare to give you a gentle entry into this world and this family. I will look forward to you joining us and making us a family of four. My love for you will continue to grow, although it already feels big enough to make my heart burst. I already love you more than you know, my dear son.

Love,

Mama

Shared at the Tuesday Baby Link-up at I Thought I Knew Mama.

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7 comments:

  1. Love this letter - and, honestly, I love what you wrote about being excited to have a daughter, too. :)

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  2. How beautiful! I remember feeling this way when pregnant with Joseph :) Gives me the warm and fuzzies on this cold and blustery Maine day! Blessings to you and your family through your pregnancy, Joella!

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  3. Sooooo beautiful! There is something so special about being a feminist mama and knowing you are raising a kind and feminist little boy ;-)

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  4. Made me tear up. I had some mixed emotions about having a baby and you sort of summed up some of the same thoughts I have.

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  5. This is really beautifully written! I love the things you hope to teach your daughter and your son about life. Super cute pregnant Halloween costume. I'm pinning this on our Tuesday Baby Link Up board!

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