You will happen soon, I know. I don’t much understand, or probably believe in, fatalism or determinism or pre-ordination or other fancy terms I vaguely remember from philosophy classes. But at some point, the future will become the past. And then, there will have been a finite number of days between this one and the one you were born.
I will go through a certain number of contractions before you enter this world. I will remind myself of that as they pass. Each pain is one I can check off and never have to live through again.
And there will be a number of breaths you take on this earth. Millions of billions of trillions I assume. I’m sure there’s a way to calculate an estimate but the thought is too painful and so I won’t.
I do have a few hopes for those breaths you take. And for the ones your brothers are taking now. They are only a few steps ahead of you.
I hope you fall in love. I personally have enjoyed the marriage-and-babies path, but the world is large and there is much to fall in love with. So find a passion – art, earth, music, beauty – and love it. But I will caution you – true love is born in service. Whether it be to your spouse or children or cause, you must give yourself over if you want to fall in love.
I hope you know that there are things I want to do in addition to being your mother. I’m not saying besides, or other than. And when you find someone or something you wish to serve and love completely, I hope you stay yourself as well.
I don’t just want you to be happy. I hear it all the time, “I just want my kids to be happy.” I certainly hope that you experience happiness, an abundance of it. But happiness is too often brief and shallow.
Instead, I hope you are fulfilled.
I hope you are passionate.
I hope you are good, and kind, and just.
I hope you leave me one day. Your oldest brother likes to tell me he never wants to leave me and that when I’m old, he will take care of me just like Grandma takes care of Great-Grandma. And I love it and it makes me smile, but I hope he is wrong. The world is wonderful and it is large and I can’t wait to hear your stories of adventures I could have only ever dreamed of.
I hope you are wrong. One of the best things I have ever been in my life is wrong. Of course, we are all wrong many times over, but it is in realizing that we grow. Relatedly, I hope you forgive me for the many times I will be wrong. It is inevitable, my dear, and I hope my mistakes will only serve to make you a better and stronger person.
I hope you know how much I love you. It is an impossible ask, because you won’t know until you find something to love as deeply as I love you. And even then, you will be looking ahead and not behind. So I suppose it will just be my little secret, a secret you may share one day.
These are things I hope you know, before you even begin.