Letter to My Unborn Son
This was the first post I ever wrote on this blog, one and a half years ago. But as I prepare for the impending birth of my next son, I still mean every word.
I haven’t met you. I don’t know you (though your roundhouse kicks to my ribs hint at strength and stubbornness ahead). But I love you already and can’t wait to meet you next month.
I want the best for you. Unfortunately, I am completely inadequate to be your mother. Even if I pour my life into parenting you, I will fall short. Already I do. (Sorry about those doughnuts. They gave us both a sugar crash later.) Just ask your brothers in a few years, when they’re teenagers and you learn how to talk, they’ll tell you. I will fail you.
I will get mad when isn’t your fault.
I will be too busy when you really just need me to listen.
I will be too lenient when you’re testing rules that should be safe and solid.
I will be too harsh when discipline isn’t the best teacher.
I will say no when I should say yes.
I will be a bad mom sometimes. I’m sorry in advance. Is this how Mary felt as she considered being Jesus’ mommy? We’ve been entrusted with the impossible job of parenting perfectly. No pressure. It’s harder than you might think.
For the record, sometimes you will think I’m being a bad mom when I’m actually trying to do what’s good for you.
I will say no when I shouldn’t say yes. (More on that when you’re 2).
I will discipline you when you do wrong, belligerently disobey, or try to hurt someone.
I will set rules that must not be broken to protect your own safety and health.
I will teach you manners.
I will not give you candy before supper.
I will expect you to practice helping anyone who is smaller or weaker than you, and all girls, no matter how tough they are.
I will observe bedtime.
I will give you good food when you ask for junk, kick you outside to play when you want to watch too much t.v., and won’t move the car until you’re buckled.
Because even Mary had to set boundaries for Jesus when He was little. Even Jesus couldn’t play in traffic. Even Jesus had to take turns. Even Jesus had to learn to read when he would rather have been in the sandbox.
Jesus didn’t come to earth because it was going to be easy. He didn’t pick Mary for His mom because she was perfect, or beautiful, or rich. He didn’t come to be comfortable. Jesus didn’t come to earth to be happy.
He came to a hard world, a young, imperfect mother, and a very difficult, painful purpose. It pleased God – His Dad – to put Him here. His Dad loved Him more than I even love you (because He could). So because I love you, I must expect the same for you. I want more for you than just happiness.
It’s a little late for you to back out of this. In fact, I’m expecting you to jump in head first. Literally. But don’t worry, even Jesus laughed sometimes. In fact, I’m pretty sure He had an infectious giggle. Even when He grew up, kids loved being around Him, so He must have been a pretty fun guy.
He had lots of brothers, just like you.
He enjoyed food, just like you will. (He spent lots of time eating with friends).
He had lots of energy, just like you. (He worked hard and walked everywhere).
He had an awe of nature, knowing that His Dad had made it to be enjoyed and used by Him as well as you.
And He knew His mom loved him. Just like you.
There are mountains to climb out here. There are books to read. There is chocolate; there is steak. There are pretty girls (we’ll discuss them later…) There is hard work, sweat, and pain. But there is laughter, deep joy, and times of rest. There are big trucks. There is darkness. There is hope. There are hugs and cuddles. There is lonliness. There are puppies. There is dirt. There is ice cream. There is so much to discover.
I cannot promise you happiness. But I will try to teach you joy.
I cannot promise you painlessness. But I will be there to kiss your booboos and stick on band aids.
I cannot promise you comfort. But I will try to buffer the hurts when I know they are coming.
I cannot promise you immediate gratification. But I will try to help you accept the waiting.
I cannot promise you sunshine and warmth. But I will dance with you in the rain.
I cannot promise you won’t get dirty. But I will give you bubble baths.
I cannot promise you won’t get sick. But I will soothe your pain.
I cannot promise you won’t be afraid. But I will chase monsters with you in the dark and hold your hand when you feel small.
I cannot promise you won’t fail. You will make mistakes; you will try your hardest and still lose. Sometimes. But I will help you get up and try again. And again. And again.
I cannot promise I won’t fail you. In fact, I guarantee I will. But I will teach you about Jesus’ Dad – the One who put you here in the first place – and I guarantee He will never fail you. I can’t wait to introduce you to Him.
I’m looking forward to joining you on the grand adventure, baby. See you soon!
They’re waiting for you…
P.S. That first step of life is a doozy. For both of us. You can start practicing now being a good sleeper for mama, ok? Thanks.