24 January 2012

Letter to My Unborn Firstborn

Dear L.,

According to the timeline of my high school daydreams, you would have been born about two years ago. Of course, that depended on marrying the high school sweetheart I didn't have then (someday, you can ask me about the one I had instead), and the man I'd hoped would be your father left the picture last year.

So I guess it's safe to say that I haven't found your dad yet. In the meantime, I'm trying to be a good example for you, for when you get to my age. I'm trying to show you as well as myself that your happiness mustn't depend on having another person around, because people leave. And even if they don't, they sometimes fail. We all do, little love.

I'm trying to prove that spending too much time pining for a great love and a faceless man can be a waste of energy. You should be working to be at peace with the only person you'll be with at the end, yourself, and you should stay productive. Do a good job at your job; volunteer; find a hobby, craft, or art you enjoy; travel; and make friends.

I am not going to be one of those people who will tell you that if you do all these things, the right man will arrive in good time and find you attractive. Nor will I tell you that God will reward you for your efforts, as God is no respecter of persons. You must learn to be happy regardless.

I am sorry to report, however, that I seem to be failing us both, mostly because of the above paragraph and the possibility that this letter may never get sent. I get through a week pumped/psyched enough for work, I read, I work on my crafts, I go out in search of adventures, and I enjoy time with family and friends. But when I go back to my one-room walkup at the end of a weekend, I still find myself wishing I had someone there waiting for me, to make dinner with, chat with, watch Sunday night HBO with, and fall asleep holding.

I don't know, baby. Maybe your mom got too used to having someone like that around, or maybe she's seen too many bad movies. But mostly, your mom is scared of being always alone and never learning to deal with that empty Sunday night feeling. She wants to be a strong, independent young woman, so she's scared that admitting she's lonely will make her seem weak or desperate. Your mom feels stuck right now, my darling.

In my daydreams, when you get to my age, you are terrific and self-sufficient. You handle life and the world much better than I ever did, your outlook is both pragmatic and positive, and your heart is practically indestructible. You take difficulty in good stride. I won't take too much credit for raising you so well, because I believe you'll take yourself in hand, too.

So I hope that when you get to my age, you'll find this letter absurd. "Poor, less enlightened Mom," you'll say. "If only she knew, life is _____________."

But if not, if you feel just as restless and clueless as I right now, I hope you'll give me a call. I'll tell you, I don't know how things are going to be, but I believe in you. Even if you don't find the answers, I believe you'll get closer than I ever did. And if you still don't, tomorrow is another day, and I'm still going to cheer you on.

See you.



P.S. - Give your grandmother a call, too. She's been my own personal cheerleader for a while.
P.P.S. - I'm assuming you're a girl or a gay boy. If you're my straight son, give me a minute; I have other things to write you.