april 22, 2007
to my unborn son,
its spring out here. it beat you by a few days, and it brought with it buds and blooms and bugs and the kind of warmth that calls deep into the dark grave, loud enough that your snow-shivering soul can hear it. the feeling out here is the kind that can make you believe that you can come out and breath again; that you can dig your hands in the dirt, take your shoes off. there is life everywhere out here.
the world seems ready for you. you can come out now.
we await you. we have dreamt about you. we've prepared for you. your older brother has been yelling into you through mommy's belly (have you heard him? he's the one who's been shouting, "come out baby brother!"). soon your mother will labor for you. you will hopefully build up the courage to make a daring watery escape, an exodus of sorts, from darkness to light; from dependence to a new kind of independence (you'll have to eat your own food now!); from safety to risk; from a warm watery womb to a world that is sometimes cold as winter.
my little boy, as yet unnamed, i wanted to write to you to thank you for already teaching me. i haven't even met you yet, yet i know that i would die for you. i know that i am your father, but i also know that at best i am broken and i am often selfish. if i, you're broken and selfish father, can love you like that, how much more must God love you? and your mommy? and me?
and what else do you have to teach me, my son?
still, the love we are waiting to wrap you in, while thick with hope, can make few promises. we will do our best (that's a promise), but we may not always be able to protect you. we may hurt you from time to time with words or looks. we will undoubtedly make mistakes. we can promise you that we won't be perfect parents.
and not only that, but this world that you're about to get your first glimpse of, well, it too is broken at best. i mean, while its got things like spring and rhythm and potato chips and bluegrass and warm fires and grand canyons and biscuits, it also has things like hate and confusion. and murder. and war.
i want you to know that your mother and i knew that it was a risk to bring you into this world. but one of the few things i know for sure is that real love takes risks. and we do love you. more than we could possibly express to you.
and so we are ready to welcome you to this broken world. ready to hold you in our imperfect arms until you are ready to fly. ready to love you the best we can against any odds. ready to face the risks of life with you. ready to learn what you have to teach us. ready, most of all, to share our lives with you.
i love you already.