I’ve been thinking about how these letters will be if I find out you are, in fact, a boy, not a girl as I have been thinking.
I don’t think it will matter much. You’ll be either Veronica or Isaiah and what I have to share with you is the same, regardless of what sex you happen to be.
I’m about to enter my second trimester with you and I can scarcely believe it. The picture Dr. David gave me yesterday of you nearly took my breath away. You LOOK like a baby. A head, limbs, and the outline of a body…I couldn’t believe it. I also couldn’t believe how I already thought you looked so cute. You’re, literally, a picture of shadows and, to me and your Pops, you looked simply adorable.
I’ve been thinking about what kind of world you are about to come into when January 2010 strikes and what captives me most is you are in me, yet not of the knowledge that I have. You have no knowledge of what evil looks like, or how it will pain you once you come into this world. You have no knowledge of what kindness looks like. The only thing you know is peace inside a floating sac of my blood, nourishing you with no disturbances or worry. All of that will change soon.
I shared with your father yesterday that I have observed how protective of children I feel these days. Suddenly, the world seems like a cold, cold place. An unloving and precarious playground with sharks in the pond, strangers leering at the fences, and untrustworthy mystery figures walking about. Isn’t it clear? I’m afraid to bring you into this world and the responsibility I will have to protect you as best as I can. So far, the only person I’ve really looked out for is myself. Selfishly, I sometimes think I will be a good protector because I don’t know if I can handle any amount of harm done to you. A selfish mother, indeed.
The wonder and innocence you symbolize to me right now cannot be adequately communicated. You are life, a breathing life waiting to grow and come into the world through my body and I find myself writing about the rights of women’s bodies, the rights of our voice and the place of our humanity. Your mom’s writing is often misunderstood and I hope you can learn from me. There is nothing wrong with being misunderstood. Actually, it only confirms that the more you speak your own way, the more of your own path you’ll find, the more others will misunderstand your ways.
I spoke to you this morning of individuality and trusting the voice you will develop inside you. The voice may not always be certain, but it will be strong in curiosity and wanting to do the most loving thing. That will lead you to where you will need to go. I don’t know if you can hear me, let alone understand the little talks we have in the car, but I hope you can soon understand that individuality can and should only exist in the context of community, accountability, and justice. Never, in all the days you will live, should you ever think you are alone in this world or this world was made just for your path. It is a beautiful, intimidating mudball where you will be pressed to find your own path. If it resembles anything like mine, it should be crooked with lots of uneasy turns that are hard to navigate. But it’ll be your path.
And then you are to share it with others. Should you ever be misunderstood along the way, know these letters serve as my companionship in your journey. To be misunderstood, my dear Child, is a blessed thing.