Sorry in advance and other thoughts: A letter to my unborn kid

Sorry in advance and other thoughts: A letter to my unborn kid
"Writing" by jeffrey james pacres

Dear Kid:

Hello! How are you? I’ve read that you are the size of a mango this week. Good for you! Keep on growin’.

This might be a bit premature, but I’ve been doing some thinking over the past few months, and I wanted to write you a letter before your dad and I meet you in person. There are some things you should have a heads-up about, so by way of introduction to your dad and me, here goes:

1. I don’t know what I’m doing, but you don’t, really, either. We’ll figure it out. Or at least, with the help of faith, family and friends, by God, we’ll get through it.

2. For the first several months, I will try to rescue you from certain situations if you will try to do the same for me.

3. Baby butts and tiny heads with a washcloth on top of them are super-cute, but your dad and I promise that we won’t post naked pictures of you on Facebook or anywhere else. One day you’ll thank us for this. As repayment, you should ensure as a young adult that no inappropriate photos of you exist anywhere ever.

4. I promise also that I won’t chronicle your infant digestive issues or defecation misadventures online. Because literally, truly, no one wants to read about that crap.

5. You and we are going to frustrate the heck out of each other sometimes, but your dad and I are going to strive always to love you for exactly who you are. For example: Look, both of your parents are writers. We’re well aware that a certain amount of moodiness is in your blood. Also, you may not be the most punctual child. Or maybe you will be. Again, either way, we’ll get through it.

6. I get that “attitude” baby clothes are popular. And I get the humor of juxtaposing an “edgy” message on a round little baby belly. But you are not edgy. You are a baby. And if I wouldn’t want you wearing it when you’re 8 years old, I’m not going to dress you in it when you’re 8 months old.

7. You’re not going to like me sometimes. You’re going to think I’m the meanest. Guess what? I don’t care. No, really. I don’t care.

8. I’m sorry in advance. I’m going to fail spectacularly as a parent sometimes. But I’m going to try to shake off some of the early mistakes and console myself that you won’t remember them. And I’ll apologize for the later stuff and try to make it right.

9. Your dad and I are already super-psyched to attend your swim meets, spelling bees, soccer games, band concerts, school plays or whatever other event in which you choose to participate. But we’ll be happy to see you through the drool-and-diapers years first, too.

10. We’re going to work to make sure you know, every day, that you are loved, because you are a blessing and we love you so much. And that’s the most important thing to know.

Thanks for your time, kid. You have no idea how excited we are to meet you this summer. Keep doing your thing and we’ll see you in a while.

Lots of love,

Your future mom

• Christine LaFave Grace works as an editor and writer in Chicago. She loves running, the city, her family and friends, and good grammar. Not necessarily in that order.

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