To my son, on a late night with just the two of us:
Someday, you will know that I wanted another little girl. You’ll know that the idea of a son was frightening to me, because what do I know about raising a boy? About being a boy? About becoming a man?
I know nothing of those things. And so the news of your coming worried me. But as I sit here all alone at the end of our long dining table, my back to the darkened house and Christmas music softly playing through peaceful rooms as your dad and sister sleep…
here’s what I do know.
I love you. I love you so much that sometimes, when other people are talking to me, probably telling me very important information or asking me questions that need immediate answers, I am not listening. I am gently cupping the bits of you that I can feel through my skin, the knee behind my belly button and the elbow above my hip, cupping your tiny body encased so safely in mine and blinking back tears at the wonder of it all. There I sit, pretending to listen to my professors or classmates or friends, but consumed with the thought that I am carrying YOU, my son, carrying you and nurturing you and comforting you in the absolute perfection and silent capabilities that God gives a woman with child.
I love you. I love when you twist and turn, I love when you push and kick, I love when you lay still in sleep. I love that you are Clara’s brother. I love that you are half of my husband. I love that you are half of me. I love that you will make our family bigger, sweeter, closer to what it was always meant to be. I love that we were meant to be yours, and you were meant to be mine.
I love you. I love walking through campus with a secret in my belly. I love that you will join me as I walk across a stage in just a short while, my partner in these final months of school, a second heart beat beneath my black cap and gown as I hold the diploma that we’ve all worked so hard to achieve. Daddy and Clara have sacrificed so much to make this dream of mine spring up and take root, and now you can say that you helped. You were a part of my dream that I didn’t even know existed. We are a team of four and we have all made this happen, and I love that you will blink and stretch inside me when that last day comes around and I am finished, and we can all breathe in relief.
I love you. I love you for being our son. I love you for the pulse of life that hums in my veins. I love you for the cheeks that I will kiss, for the arms and legs that will someday grow longer than mine, for the thoughts you will think and the words you will say; I love you. For the mistakes you will make, the tears I will wipe away, the hurts I will not be able to mend, the imaginings that will delight our home, the surprises you will bring to our lives, and the man you will become; I love you.
Baby boy, it’s dark outside. A November kind of dark, when the moon shot up before the sun had a chance to wink goodbye, and the world tucked away as the winter cold crept across lawns and lingered outside closed doors. The people on our side of the globe closed their tired eyes long ago, and I will follow soon. But before I lower the lights, and kiss your beautiful sister one more time, and nestle in next to your daddy for a night of sleep, I wanted to write and introduce you to the love that’s waiting for you. Listen: Stay in there as long as you like- rest and grow and enjoy the solitude, truly -but know that I love you. That my arms ache for you. That my heart is full of you. That you are the answer to our prayers and a gift that I will never take for granted.
I love you.