16 January 2011

Dear Baby Yet to Be Conceived

Dear Baby Yet to Be Conceived,

In terms of science and molecules and cells, you do not yet exist.  You have no toes for me to count and send piggies all the way home or a belly button to stuff Cheerios into.  There is no hair to comb, nor feverish forehead to temper.  You can't be detected on a sonogram or photographed wearing an embarrassing sailor suit (which, I can guarantee, will be used for blackmail when you hit those awkward teenage years).  You haven't tortured my body with morning sickness, sore boobs, and stretch marks around my mid-section, although I morbidly desire to experience such symptoms.

Yet, in terms of love, life, and creation, you are very real.  You are the topic of dinner conversations and the reason I endure having my inner elbow poked with a needle every month.  You have taught us that there are an infinite number of ways in which you can be created.  You have made us wonder about what kind of loony mommy-and-daddy pair we will be.  You make us quarrel over who you might take after more.

To put it simply: you exist because one day we are damned determined to be your parents.  Whether you are the fruit of my womb, or of a woman who lives halfway around the world, you will be the ???-years-in-the-making baby that comes home with us.

Be aware, though, that once you do come home with us, you're going to have to put up with quite a lot.  First, there will be an entire family who will want to smother you with love (including all 10,000 of your father's first cousins--sorry, I don't have any).  The entire lot is a mixed bag of crazy and cool.  You'll have to figure out on your own, though, which is which.  You'll find out firsthand that your Uncle Erik is actually both.  Oh, and don't be confused when you end up with Indian/Filipino/African/Korean aunties and uncles.  They may not be related by blood, per se, but Auntie Janaki will crochet you hats and Uncle Laurel will teach you tae kwon do.  That means they automatically count as family.

Since I like to take pictures, you'll end up being the subject of roughly 99% of them, and yes, they will end up in Facebook photo albums and this very blog.  My one promise in your many photography sessions is that I won't dress you up like a fruit or vegetable.  No Anne Geddes-esque portraits in our home!

Then there will be the things your father and I yearn to teach you.  He'll teach you to play Chopin on piano, the "right" way to throw a football (yes, even if you're a girl), how to make the perfect scrambled cheese eggs, and which RPGs are the most fun on the Nintendo Wii.  I'll teach you how to build a campfire, what herbs go together in spaghetti sauce, how to stay organized, and how to touch your tongue to the tip of your nose.  Together, we will show you the world through travel, books, gardening, walks with Mojo, and our favorite TV show--Jeopardy!

Your father will be laid back about almost everything.  He's the peace-maker and far from confrontational.  He will play devil's advocate to keep you on your toes.  He will make jokes.  When you fall and scrape your knee, he'll tell you to rub dirt on it.  He will show you how to entertain yourself with one-person activities, like putting together puzzles and solving logic problems.  His charisma will rub off on you.

I will want to be laid back, but I won't be able to help being uptight about certain situations.  I'm skeptical and questioning.  I'll try to make jokes (they'll be dorky and lame, unlike your father's).  When you fall and scrape your knee, I'll run for the Band-Aids and Neosporin.  I'll show you how to make your voice heard and stand up for the things in which you believe.  My stubbornness is sure to rub off on you.

There are things we will have to be prepared for, though, in bringing you into our lives.  First words.  First tooth.  Losing your first tooth (yay, tooth fairy!).  First day of school.  First date.  First broken heart.  Turning 18.  High school graduation.  Piercings and tattoos (which I'm actually fine with…OK, maybe not on your face, but go to town with your ears!).  Your college education.  Discovering your passion.  Starting your career.  Getting married.  Having your own children…

Maybe it's strange to try to gaze into a person's future that does not physically exist, but they're just as important to us as our future hopes of becoming your parents.  And for each and every one of your milestones, I'll cry happy tears and your dad will puff out his chest with pride.

We won't be perfect parents, but such parents aren't real anyway.  What we can promise you, though, is to chase the monsters out from under your bed and let you wear your striped socks with your favorite pair of bright green Chuck Taylor high tops.  We probably won't give you an allowance.  Not because we're mean,  but because having a roof over your head and three squares a day is a luxury in the eyes of some children in this world.  We will try our best to be fair, to be patient when you are seconds away from having a tantrum, and to prepare you for the real world.

Because you will be ours, you will be guaranteed love.  There is nothing greater in this world, and we will spend a lifetime reinforcing that ideal.  Whenever you are ready to become ours, we will be waiting with open arms.


Your Parents-To-Be


A. Hab. said...

Super, super sweet, Vikki. I'm glad to know that Robert and I aren't the only ones who spend a lot of time discussing (sometimes arguing over) who the future kids will take after most and in which ways and how we'll address this particular scenario or that one. Robert is definitely going to be the more lenient one, especially when it comes to making mistakes. I'll be forgiving but absolute in my discipline.

Thanks for sharing your letter--it was incredibly touching. :) And I love the idea of writing a letter to the future baby...one day I'll write one, too, but I'll wait until we're more serious about actually trying.

And I love the pebble magnets--how did you manage to make those? They are adorable! :)

Katie said...

Vikki, this is so touching! You are an incredible writer and are going to be an amazing mother! XOXO
PS-love the magnets :)

Em said...

You're going to be such a good mom, Mrs. Vikki! I loved reading this.


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