I’ve known that you are a boy for several weeks now and I feel somewhat guilty that when I thought you were going to be a girl, I wrote you several letters. Now that I know you are going to be a boy, I think my fear of raising a son has put me in an even deeper, inward place of wondering one thing: what in the hell am I going to do with a son.
You are kicking up a storm. Most often, you kick when I am sitting down and leaning over my laptop or computer to write, you tumble a reminder that you are inside me, waiting to come out, slowing maturing into something independent.
Physically, I’m beginning to feel a bit off balance, like you’re protruding forward in my belly makes me feel like I could fall forward if I’m not concentrating on keeping the small of my back tucked back in. There are funny things happening with my vision; small circles appear at the lower half of my right eye when I look away from my computer or suddenly get up. The doctor says it’s probably normal. My legs look like two pillows squished into shoes and my hair is a wild mane of thick black gloss, swinging across my back, keeping me warm. My fingernails grow a mile a minute and my acne-free life has been interrupted by these small soldiers, bumping their way along my forehead. My skin is warm, always warm and my mind elsewhere. It’s never with whoever is standing in front of me.
I’m starting to get out of breath and none of my clothes fit. Slowly, but surely, you are taking over my body and I’m beginning to understand both the overpowering love women feel toward their unborn child and I’m beginning to understand the frustration of feeling completely alien in my own skin. It’s kind of a bipolar experience.
Have I mentioned to you how I am in mild denial that I have to go through labor? It’s not the pain, it’s the UNKNOWN about labor that puts heavy anxiety in my abdomen. I don’t know anything — how long you will take, what a contraction feels like, if something goes wrong, if I will tear, a c-section…? And there’s no comparison. No metaphor that makes me feel better. The more others try to explain it, the smaller my ear canal becomes. I don’t want to hear what it was like for OTHERS, I want to know what it will be like for you and me.
Eventually, inevitably, without a doubt, sooner or later — I’ll know.
In our morning talks, I try to tell you what the world might be like by the time you get here, but each week, the world changes a bit. Health care reform stays stagnant though. Celebrities take turns in the headlines. Feminist news is on recycle. The seasons change. It’s now Autumn. World leaders continue their facades while citizens lobby their hearts out. In about 14 weeks, I don’t know what the world will tell you when you breathe it in for the first time. I’m hoping, selfishly, maybe I can breathe it in and try to see the world for the first time again with you. Maybe I’ll be full of curiosity, stubborn in my will to forge my own path, and open to all the possibilities of life.
But, maybe you’ll need me to be me. I’m far from new. I’m not nearly a newborn. Nor am I an old-timer. The only expertise I have to offer is the observations from my own two eyes and the scrapbook of lessons, the journals of my discoveries to share with you. Maybe you won’t need a partner to be curious with you, maybe you’ll need a mom who still believes in her own dreams, full of art and creativity, stubborn in my own right, loving in every decision.
I hope that will be enough for you. And I hope you and I will be born with an understanding of each other that surpasses my fear of raising a son.
With love always,