Dear Baby Girl -
You'll notice I didn't write "Dear Tweet". This is because we're days and possibly just hours (minutes?) from meeting you... and you've become so real that calling you "Tweet" in this letter (although it's a nickname that may not go away after you're born... we'll have to play it by ear) doesn't seem appropriate.
I've been meaning to write you a letter for months now. A real letter... not a Bump Watch or a Weekly Update... but a real letter like the one my mom wrote me before I was born. But, in all our excitement and preparation for you to join us and make our family whole, the letter writing has been put on the back burner. Funny how six days away from delivery puts a whole new level of urgency on things.
This morning, I woke up at 5:30... something that one day you'll figure out NEVER happens... and decided that today was the day that the letter would be written. I am taking advantage of a quiet house this morning... one of the few remaining that we'll have before you get here. Your dad has been sick for the last week or so and hasn't really had time to take care of himself, so today he's sleeping in. The fact that right now it's almost 8 a.m. and I haven't heard him stir should tell you that your Daddy REALLY needs his rest.
I like to poke fun of your Daddy by telling him that this illness proves that he just doesn't pregnant well. When, in all honesty, he's been my rock for the last 39 weeks. And it's a bummer that right before you come into this world, he's got a cold. Actually, this is not something new for your father... every year around this time, his warm-weather genes go haywire when the weather changes and he battles a cold for a couple of weeks. Last year, it was 16 days... not that I counted or anything.
And what's really tragic about the whole situation is that we absolutely adore Ogden at this time of year. We love the leaves changing color, we love the crispness you can not only feel but smell in the air. We love going to the college football games, and hearing the Ogden High football games every other Friday as it's just down the road. We love walking to the neighborhood coffee shop, Kaffe Mercantile, and looking at all of the beautiful fall colors along the way. We love 70 degree days that you can look up at the mountains surrounding us and see snow.
And we love that you will always associate Fall with your big entry into the world!!!
My side of the family has never had a Fall baby... we're all pretty much Springers, with the exception of your Aunt Lindsey who has the unfortunate luck of being born the day after Christmas... and it just can't be fun to celebrate your birthday during the holiday's like that! (Which is why we are bringing you into the world just in time for Halloween!!) And since the rest of us were all Springers, we never had the fortune of taking cupcakes to school on our birthday, and never got recognized as turning another year older by the teacher in class. But you will!!!
When your dad and I got married, we both agreed that there were certain things we needed to accomplish before we started a family. And we both agreed that no matter how much pressure we got from friends and family (and there was A LOT), the decision to start to start our own family was ours and ours alone.
This is why it took us 6 years to bring you in to this world. We had things to do! We traveled to Europe, raced in tons of triathlons (including three Ironman races for your dad), furthered our careers and our education... with your dad getting his Master's Degree from Utah State University... and made our little starter house a home.
You see, baby girl, we had to be ready. And felt like we instinctively knew what the timeline for our lives should and would be. I guess what I'm saying is that I hope you are able to trust your gut and not follow the crowd when the time comes. Because, who knows better than you how to live your life? Look at that? My first motherly piece of advice... and you'll be too young to appreciate it and take advantage of it for like another 10 years.
We are so excited for you to join our family, sweetie. We have such high hopes for you... mainly that you'll be happy and healthy. Everything else is just noise. But in the last nine months, I've pretty much thought about what my hopes and dreams are for you.
- I hope that I can be a good mother to you... I know now that I'll always question that. But, I think that's pretty common for all mothers.
- I hope that we can give you everything you need. Not necessarily everything you want, but everything you need.
- I hope that you'll have a kind heart like your father and a sense of humor like your mother. I want you to laugh. I want you to love. I want you to take all of the best qualities from your father and me, and make them into one amazing person.
- I hope you know that your father and I will love you no matter what road life leads you down.
- I hope that you do not come out a Republican, though.
- I hope that you are close with both sides of the family and that you are spoiled rotten by your grandparents.
- I hope that you will always treat others the way you want to be treated.
- I hope that you grow up with a strong character and a sense of right and wrong.
- I hope that if you are ever bullied or teased, you will take the high road and remember that kids can be cruel, but life goes on. You'll notice I didn't say I hope you are never teased... that's because even though it's horrible to go through that, I know that you will emerge on the other side of it stronger for having gone through it. That said... I HOPE YOU ARE NEVER TEASED!
- I hope that you think for yourself and not just go with what the crowd says.
- I hope that you stick up for the little guy.
- I hope that you can appreciate why we choose to raise you the way we do. It may not be the popular way in this town or this state, but it's the way we feel is right.
- I hope you can forgive us when we make mistakes with you. I have a feeling that this will happen A LOT.
- I hope you see the love your father and I have for each other every single day of your life. Even when we kiss in front of you when you're 14-years-old and it's the most disgusting thing you've ever seen. It's gonna happen, baby girl. And you should be happy that it does.
- I hope that you never judge a book by it's cover.
- I hope that you always feel safe with us.
- I hope that you come to realize that the world is a tough place, but it's still amazing to be a part of it.
- I hope that you get your father's legs and arms... and my derriere and lips. Quite frankly, I also hope that you get his intelligence. Not that I'm stupid, but your father has a way of looking at things and arriving at a solution or a position that I lack... and it has served him well in life.
- I hope that you're not one dimensional. I want you to enjoy art and athletics and music and plays! There's so much in this world to see and do! Don't limit yourself to one thing.
- I hope you get to experience different cultures of the world... and I hope we get to be there with you when you do.
- I hope that while you're in college, we can send you backpacking through Europe over the summer. Everyone must do this at least once in their life.
- I hope (to your father's chagrin) that you love animals.
- I hope you have wonderful friends and that you know that the secret to having a friend is to be a friend.
- I hope that you love school as much as your father and I did.
- And finally, I hope that when the time comes, you find a wonderful partner to share your life with, like I did. And hopefully, you'll learn what to look for in a partner by being part of our family and seeing how your father treats me, you, and everyone he meets. You're a lucky girl, getting to have a father like that.
We're six days away from your due date and right now all I can think about is how much our lives are going to change overnight when you finally decide to make your grand entrance. I'm nervous about the delivery, of course. I guess it's to be expected when you don't know what to expect... other than what the books tell you.
I do know that I hope they don't have to induce me. I'd like to be able to look at your dad and say the cliche and rite-of-passage phrase: "It's time." I want to have him drive us to the hospital (kinda stressed out cuz that's a good look on him) while I'm having contractions. I actually want to experience what contractions feel like... to an extent. And when we hit what I feel is the "extent", I'm going to take the epidural and wait for you to come to us. Because I'm brave, smart and tough that way.
We haven't named you, yet... because we feel like we have to meet you first. That, and we don't want people harshing our mellow on whatever name we decide on. We have a pretty good idea what your name will be, but for now it's just fun to have that between your dad and me. Plus, you could come out looking like a Harriet and we want to have the flexibility to roll with the punches!!
Every night before your dad and I go to sleep... which is right about the time you start doing gymnastics... he rubs my belly and finds where your knee or elbow is sticking out. You seem to calm down whenever he puts his hand on my belly... perhaps you can feel the love through the skin? I like to think so. I have a feeling that he's going to be able to calm you down like no one else. We also talk about what we think you'll be like. Will you be happy? Will you cry a lot? Will you want to sleep in your crib, the side-sleeper or next to us? Will you be a good breast-feeder? Will you respond to us? Will you be so adorable that I want to eat you up?
All of those questions should be answered pretty soon. And while I can't wait... I can wait. Because, baby girl, this whole new life we're about to embark on is exciting and scary and I just hope that I'm the right woman for the job... that I'm the right mom for you.
I love you, baby girl. Always have. Always will. When you read this years and years from now, I hope that you can feel the love I have for you as I write this... sitting on the couch, looking out the window at the rain and believing that at 32 years of age with a baby on the way, a stinky dog, a sick husband and a cat that is outside crying to be fed, I just may be the luckiest girl on the planet.