Welcome to the second project on obafuntaydotcom, The Letter to my unborn child project. If you missed the preview, you can view it here, just so you have an idea what we are up to, as much as the project title, speaks for itself.
Ever thought of writing a letter? Better still, a letter to your unborn child?
What would you name him/her? Why not give your unborn child a name now and write him/her a letter? Yes! Right now! Doesn’t sound like a bad idea to me.
What do you think?
Today, we’d be reading Ed’s letter.
Hang in there.
I don’t know if you’re going to be a boy or a girl.
I don’t think it’s that important which one you are.
At least, not anymore.
A few months ago, my thoughts on the matter were very different. I wanted a girl so bad. Because the boys I saw, in real life and on social media were all jerks. And they were mean to girls. They were so very mean, they did terrible things to them, said terrible things to them, and afterwards, they would say things like ‘with all the things I have seen and done, I don’t want a daughter.’ And for that reason and many others, I didn’t want a son. I was of the opinion that it was better to have a girl to protect from being a victim of this cruel world, than have a son who would be so influenced by everyone around him, that he would become one of those beasts that scared me so much. Darling, no I’m not anti-men. Not anymore.
I want you to come as what you are, because you will be more important to me than anything else in the world. You will be a new life, one I helped to create. Lord will I cry when you come, I will bawl like a baby when I hold you in my arms for the first time, feel your perfect skin rub against mine, your beautiful hands reach for me and your eyes survey the world for the first time with that unhindered curiosity. I know your eyes will be tinged slightly blue because its something that runs in our family lines. And I will notice it fade and become plain white because I will always look you in the eyes when I talk to you, when I praise you for acing that test, or scold you for punching that girl in the playground even though she deserved it. I will never shy from disciplining you when it is necessary, because I was disciplined as a kid and even though they seemed so monumental at the time, now I look back and I can’t even remember a single time I was flogged that I didn’t deserve it. I even look back at them fondly, laughing at my mother’s code word for ‘get me the cane’.
I want you to meet your grandparents. I hope they’re still alive when you come. Your grandmother is so beautiful, it’s scary. And she’s strong, the strongest woman I know. Generous too, even though sometimes it gets too much and your uncles complain quietly like old gossipy women. But she’s like me, in the sense that she can turn off those feelings in an instant and walk away. Gramps is a veritable fountain of knowledge, he’s sometimes intense but growing up with three sisters does that to you. In a perfect world, I would be a stay-at-home dad, so I could give you all the time you want, always be there for you. I want when you’re 22 and in university, you’ll look back and think of me and remember all the days when you were the only kid in your group who talked about your dad cooking your meals and checking your homework and tucking you into bed when everyone else talks about their mom. Cos that’s what I remember about my own dad, your gramps. I remember him when I was about 8, putting a novel about a girl who made green finger sandwiches in my hands and urging me to read, because he was so exhausted from caring for three teenage girls and three boys below ten and me always getting up to go steal his Interview with the Vampire to read while he took his own siesta. I remember him catching me but pretending not to notice because he was happy I was taking initiative. I remember him checking my homework, and laughing at how simple the sums I failed were. I want you to have that too, memories so fond, so vivid. I want that to be the biggest gift I give you in your childhood, not fancy toys, not television and video games, vivid memories of a happy childhood that lasts you your entire life.
When you cross into the tumultuous teenage years, I want to have protected you and yet exposed you enough that you are able to handle most things but you are also well aware that I am here when things get too much for you. I want you to know it is okay to be depressed. It’s okay to be tantrum-y and act out a little. Even the most basic experimentation. I want you to know that no matter what side of the relationship fence you are, hurt is inevitable. And I want to prepare you for that as well as I can, because I know it’s foolish to try to protect you from it altogether.
I know I can’t be your best friend because I’ll be too busy being your dad, but I’ll do my best to be so fair to you then that while you might hate me sometimes as teenagers are wont to do, you will always grudgingly admire me for who I am. And even when I don’t meet up, you’ll always have your uncle, my twin. That one will be cool FOREVER!!!! So when you feel you can’t talk to me, I will make sure, he’s always there for you. I will work extremely hard so that you will always be one of the lucky kids who has both parents seated beside each other hands held when you have your first recital, when you graduate and when you say ‘I do’.
I will give you many gifts over the course of our lives together. But of all the gifts I will try to give you three above all others, A happy safe childhood, a strong support filled adolescence and freedom to be your own person as an adult. I will teach you only two things. Always love without expecting anything back, and learn to accept people as they are. Never force them to change into who you think they should be, just love the ones you can unconditionally and treat the rest with the same civil politeness you would expect of them.
Above all, know that I love you.
(P.S I really, really really hope you come to love all the music that I do.)
• • •
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?
N.B. The project goes on tomorrow, with @FrankUgo_’s letter.
You can send in your own written letters to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)