So there you are down there, all snug in the armor that is the soft tissue of my body, nuzzled in for the long haul. You are so tiny, but the havoc you have wreaked has already brought me quite literally to my knees. I had asserted, quite matter-of-factly, that I would avoid sickness simply by deciding to forego it, by denying its existence and continuing to live with my customary vigor. I realize now the error in that logic. So tiny, and already pointing out my limitations.
If we are to make this work, you and I, we must start off on the right foot, and for me, that requires full disclosure. You’re only just growing feet, so you’ll have to let me decide how this is to be done for the both of us.
What you should know first, is that you nearly weren’t. You’ll learn this in the years we spend together, as I’m sure the people I surround myself with will delight in telling you. You’ll also hear some “Well, I knew all along,” but those people are full of shit and you heard that here first. You very nearly weren’t, and truth be told, though you were planned, I find myself wondering what in the fuck I’ve done and what could have possessed me to make this choice. I’ve even seen you on a screen once, and I’m thankful I was alone, because to share that moment with someone else, would have meant to pretend to feelings that were conspicuously absent. I cannot feel you yet, or see your marks on my body and so, in a sense, I am in denial of your existence.
You are there and not there and that is how I am learning to live with you.
I will not pretend to maternal instinct. You will not be born to a mother with a soft heart and milk-and-cookies demeanor. I’ve spent tens of years denying you existence, so, though I’ve chosen you, you will be a product born despite that past conviction. You will puzzle before you delight and who you are will invariably be coloured by the fact that your very being is confounding.
You terrify me.
So for now, I concentrate on the delight in the eyes of your grandparents Sciolino and Moore when they learned of your imminent arrival. I think of the return of King Farglebargle stories and the fact that little feet keep old souls young. I think of you with a book in your hands and a too-smart-for-your-own-good comment on your lips as I remember that I am paying for my raising. I think of your hand in your father’s and our laughter as we realize that you’ve grown taller than me so swiftly. I think of all these things because the reality is still a little bit too much.
So here we sit, you and I; a little stand-off that I have no hope of winning. I could apologize now, I know what I’ve had to say isn’t very reassuring. But I’m certain there will be many apologies in our future so I won’t start prematurely. Instead, let’s agree that we’re on this road together, just the two of us, picking our way as we go.