[Editor’s Note: Yes, I am aware that Mother’s Day was on Sunday. Sometimes it’s hard to find time to write blog posts.]
Happy Mother’s Day!
Today is a particularly special Mother’s Day, as the little girl you are growing so perfectly in your womb has made this day instantly apply to you. I know you’re proud to be pregnant and I know you enjoyed all the extra baby bump-induced smiles you got today1 from friends and strangers alike who can feel the maternal joy radiating from you. I’m sure you’re also feeling more like a mother with each passing minute, as our baby now regularly kicks you in the ribs and reminds you of her presence.
While I’ve spent many an idle moment in the last six months imagining myself as a father, I’ve spent probably just as many imagining you as a mother. I love coming home from work and seeing that baby bump again, reminding me of the exciting leap forward we are about to take. I love seeing the surprised smile on your face when you stop in your tracks and feel her kick. I love when you take my hand and press it over where the baby is moving around. I gently push and the baby pushes back–our party of three enjoying a silent prenatal conference.
You’re going to be such an amazing mother. You’re already sacrificing so much on behalf of our baby–from the constant threat of continued morning sickness to enduring extreme exhaustion and psycho dreams. From remembering to take your prenatal vitamins to setting up our baby registry and getting the nursery together. In so many ways you’re already owning your new role as a mom and paving the way for our little lady’s physical arrival.
Perhaps more importantly, you’ve already done so much throughout our entire relationship and marriage to prepare us emotionally and spiritually for this next stage of life. Are we completely ready for every potential complication or eventuality? Of course not. We never will be. But I am completely sure that we are meant to be parents together, and that the strong bond of love we share–which is now literally bringing another human into existence–will be palpable to our daughter and be the preventative antidote to a lot of problems that more fractured families must face.
I will also be sure to one day make our daughter aware of how much credit you get for imbuing her father with the confidence and courage necessary to advance into this new role. Your support is an endless source of strength and inspiration for a new dad armed with little more than a blog and a willingness to learn.
I know that motherhood is your vocation, and I know you’re going to rock it. We are both blessed to be raised by five-tool, Hall of Fame-caliber mothers who each devoted their lives to their children in their own ways and left a wake of grateful adults who are ready to advance their parents’ legacy. I await the day that our own child looks back at you that way–when the feelings behind Mother’s Day appear more frequently than one Sunday in May–and her gratitude for a difficult job done well is overflowing and expressed regularly.
But I will gladly wait a long time for that day, because I’m even more excited to enjoy the adventure of parenthood with you. We are now climbing into our safari jeep and heading off into the jungle for the next two decades. There is no map…just a vague sense of the jungle’s overwhelming beauty and underlying dangers. What will we see? How will it change us? Where will we end up? Who will be in the jeep with us on the other side? I hope there are enough seats.
I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I know that there is no adventure I want to take without you riding shotgun. Besides, your sense of direction is much better than mine, and you’re good at math.
It’s hard to believe as I type these words, but on your next Mother’s Day we’ll have a nine-month-old baby in tow. I’m sure the prolonged sleep deprivation will make my safari metaphor seem even more apt. By then we’ll be old pros at swaddling and changing and feeding, and those smiles from friends and strangers will be directed at our beautiful little girl, who will no doubt be getting all of the attention wherever she goes.
There will be many Mother’s Days to come2, but I’ll never forget this first Mother’s Day–the official Hallmark-approved recognition of your new title, but more importantly a chance to reflect on all of the opportunities that lie ahead.
Let’s do this.