Little One, is it weird to say I miss you? Is it weird to say I love you, though we’ve yet to meet? Because it’s true. Though I’ve never heard your tiny cry, the pitter-patter of your little toes on the bare floor or your silly laugh, I yearn for it. Though I’ve never seen your sparkling eyes, marveled at your long fingers grasped around one of mine or smelled your fresh baby skin, I miss it. It’s there in that space where it’s never been, and yet I feel like I’ve been there before. Almost like walking into a room you haven’t seen since you were a child. There is a musty memory where you’ve forgotten there was one, and seeing some glimpse of familiarity sparks a fire inside your heart of love and remembrance and yearning.
I’m in love with a child I have yet to meet, Lo.
Over the past few days, I’ve been kind of down. Looking around at the people in my life, I feel stuck. They are all getting married, moving in to houses, having children- then second and third children. They are on a line that’s constantly moving, and I’m watching as they go further into the horizon, but I stay in place.
We’ve been married three years now, Lo. We accomplished a lot early. When we bought our house, RB was only 21 and I was 20. Now, five years later, everyone is catching up. They are getting houses, having weddings- and we’re done that part of our lives. We’ve been struggling to start the next chapter for all these years. And my ridiculous fear is that they will now surpass us. I’m nervously awaiting more pregnancy announcements, more forced smiles while I say congratulations, more nights crying over the hurt of not having our dream come true yet.
Let me make something undoubtedly clear to you sweet baby: life is not a race. It’s so difficult to step outside of this culture and realize that not everything is a competition. That is what I’ve been struggling so hard with lately, is taking that step outside of myself and reflecting. I’m not racing against anyone, everyone is on a different path. But it’s so hard to keep that in mind when milestones pass everywhere around you, and you’re not one of them.
But that’s not what life is meant for, no matter how hard school, work and advertising will try to tell you otherwise. We’re on our own path. RB put this in perspective for me on a long ride home this weekend. He comforted me with his kind words, “Few people are on this journey that we’re on, and you can’t compare it to anything else. How many people do you know, personally, that have been down this path? A few? Sure. But not many. Not nearly as many that are having families through traditional routes. This is our unique journey, and no one elses. It’s too beautiful to compare.”
I know, he always knows just what to say. You’ll get to experience that too, Lo. He’s going to be one amazing father to you, and you’re going to be on lucky Little One to have him to call Dad.
I need to bow out of this silly race I’ve made up in my own head. I need to stop worrying so much. Yesterday, feeling overwhelmed and crushed under the weight of the important things this week (our physicals, the health department check) I freaked out. I became someone I’m not usually- I became bewildered, frozen, scared to death. I took it out on RB by being angry that we weren’t further along in the process than we are, when really we’ve done nothing but work as hard as we can to get everything done.
We sat on the couch, cradling each other and crying about how much we just want things to be perfect and go right. We wiped each others tears, held each other tight and talked about how important this is to both of us. We just want this to happen so badly, Lo. And we want everything to go smoothly so there are no bumps in the road to get to you, so we can have our family as fast as possible.
We’ve been waiting a long time for you. Our hearts are so filled with anticipation and joy and anxiety about this process that sometimes they stop us right in our tracks. Like a deer in the headlights, we stand frozen, unable to move- afraid one tiny movement will rock everything back in to place, and all our hard work will be for not. I don’t think RB and I have ever been filled with this much passion- except for each other.
It’s such a hard feeling to describe. Not many people would understand how we can miss someone we’ve never even met. But we do. We get it, we understand it, and we recognize it. We are so in love with you in our hearts, that we miss what we don’t yet have. And I’m so scared of someone coming along and telling us we can’t have it that it is killing me. I’ll be so happy when we’re home study approved, just to have the peace of mind that no one is left standing in our way to get to you. It’s a motherly instinct that took no hormones to achieve. It’s a pretty amazing thing to feel, because it is such a deep, unwavering, cerebral love.
I know I’ve said this before, but I realize it more and more in life: timing is everything. Timing is what can turn a bad situation into a life changing good situation. Timing means life or death. Timing means everything. And I feel like timing is on our side. Never in my life have I felt more prepared for you, and the same with RB. We have good jobs, we own our house, our cars, our camper. We have a great relationship with both sides of our families. We have amazing friends. We have a great support system. We are head over heels, heart-beating-out-of-our-chests-cartoon-style crazy in love with each other.
The timing is right on our end. But is it right on yours?
I had a dream the other night about my grandmother (your great grandmother) who has been gone from this earth for quite a while. In the dream, we were at dinner with the entire family when she came up behind me, put her hands over my eyes and exclaimed, “Guess who?!” I could feel the warmth of her hands, the weight of her soul and the smell of her perfume, but I couldn’t see her face. She continued to give me messages to give to my Mom and sister, but nothing for me.
After telling my mom about the dream, she thinks Guess Who is my message. I don’t exactly see it.
But maybe she is right. Maybe your great grandmother is holding you right now, figuring out the timing from your end. Maybe she’s waiting for the right time to release you to our arms after holding you tightly in hers.
I’m not sure, Lo. I’m not sure when you’ll get here, what your cry or laugh will sound like, or what color those sparkling eyes will be. But I’m sure of this: the timing will be right when it is right for you.
This is not a race, its a journey. We have to stop running, because maybe somewhere along the path you’re already waiting. And I wouldn’t want to miss a single step.
Walking slowly hand in hand with Dad,