To my boy,
It’s the first day of my third trimester of pregnancy and I can’t quite believe that in three months or so I’ll have you in my arms.
You still seem like an idea, sometimes even a joke – how am I capable of taking care of another human being?! – and despite feeling you move more and more in my belly, it’s hard to imagine that you will soon be here.
I feel so much about approaching motherhood. So much fear (if I’m honest, that’s the overriding feeling I have at the moment), such a great sense of responsibility and so much anticipation of who you will be, what life will be like with you here and how we’ll navigate the unknown roads of being mother and son together.
I’ve heard so many things from other people about motherhood – how as soon as you arrive I’ll find it hard to recall how life could ever exist without you, how my heart will fill with such a depth of love and wonderment for you and how I’ll be willing to do the most mundane things because they’re for you.
But I can’t quite picture it yet.
I know I want to do my best for you – to raise you to have as little fear in life as possible; to accept yourself exactly as you are; to follow your passions instead of what the world says you should be.
This is both my highest hope and my deepest fear.
What if I’m unable to provide these things for you?
And I also ask myself what I’ll do if this is not what you want for your life. What if your path is to live a safe life, not a daring one? What if you long to journey on a road well travelled by others instead of forging a new route for yourself?
I’m torn, wanting you to be independent and fiercely yourself and wanting you to feel that you can be exactly who you are meant to be with no sense of judgement from me.
There are so many values that I want to instil in you – a respect for the planet, a kindness for those less fortunate than you and an ability to view women as your equal. But I know that these are my values, ones that have taken 33 years to form and are ones you may not always share.
I know that I’ll also need to create space for you to be able to create and step into your own values, but I’m sometimes so passionate that I find this hard to do.
I know we’ll need the help of other people as we start this journey together – both friends and family – and that scares me too. Because if I’m strong and capable and handle things myself, I don’t risk getting let down by others and I’m used to living like this. But I don’t want you to learn that you always have to be strong, capable and handle everything yourself. I want you to be able to reach out and ask for help where needed. So I need to start doing this, for both me and for you.
I want you to spend more time outdoors than you spend watching TV, to be present in life instead of numbing your experience with food/drink/drugs and I want you to live offline more than through the fake reality of social media…but boy oh boy, that has some ramifications for me. The example I will have to set for you when I currently watch too much TV, turn to alcohol and flick from whatsapp to facebook to gmail more often than I’d care to admit.
Mostly, my darling, beautiful boy, I know that I’m going to fail you. Yell at you, lose my patience, weep with exhaustion, freeze you out when I’m exasperated and take over when you need to learn something for yourself. But I also know that I’ll be doing my best and that’s all I can do. And you will fail me too, as hard as it is to write this. You will have tantrums, overstep the boundaries we set for you, give me sleepless nights, be rude, embarrass me and rebel against me as you learn to find your own independence. And all through this time, I’ll try to remember that you’re doing your best, and that’s all you can do.
So I hope that you are able to forgive my imperfections, to see the good in me and in turn I will forgive your imperfections and see the good in you too.
With all my love,