Dear August

Dear August,

I am writing you this letter from the front room over our house on Collins Street, the house that will be your first home. I’m exactly 32 weeks pregnant. It’s raining harder than I’ve ever seen it rain in Los Angeles. We’re supposed to get a lot of rain this winter.

I’m getting your room ready for you. Your dad and I picked out a huge map that covers one of your walls. I hope it will inspire you to learn. One of my many wishes for you is that you see more of the world than we have. That you learn more about the world than we have.

I have so many hopes and dreams for you. Right now I think a lot about your health, whether you are growing okay and getting the nutrition you need. Judging by the size of my belly and your very forceful movements I think you are! I wonder what you’ll look like, if you’ll like to sleep, what noises you’ll make, if you’ll more like me or Loren or a perfect mix. We already love you so much. You are already perfect in my eyes.

I’m so excited to be your mom, but I’m also nervous about doing a good job. Sometimes the women in my family have struggled with motherhood. I’ve done a lot of work on myself over the years to get ready for you. I want to shield you from the hurt and pain that has transpired in previous generations of our family. I pray that family will mean safety to you. I hope that you’ll always feel like you can come to me and your dad, no matter how old you are, no matter how far from us you think you’ve gone. Our love for you is unconditional.

I promise, sweet boy, that wherever I live that place is a home for you. Whether I live in a mansion where you can have your pick of rooms or in a tent in the woods (hope not!) where all I have to offer is a warm place beside me. Wherever I am, you are welcome there.

I promise to do my best to see you for who you are, not who I think you should be or could be. I want to learn all there is to know about you. I think it takes a long time to really learn a person. And I don’t presume to know everything about you just because you are living inside my body at the moment. I’ve known your dad for almost ten years and he still does things that totally surprise me. We are all constantly changing and growing and becoming different versions of ourselves.

And that’s okay. I wish someone had told me that when I was young. It’s okay to change, to reinvent yourself, to wake up one day and decide to do something completely different than you were the day before. You should try to be kind and not hurt others when and if you go through these changes, but the people who really see you will be open to them. Those who really love you will tell you to spread your wings and fly because they will love learning all the new things you see up in the sky.

There are some things I know about you already. I know that you like to nudge my coffee cup if I place it on my belly in the mornings. I know you must be compassionate because for about a week you were laying right on my sciatic nerve. I tried going to chiropractors, massage therapists. I tried all kinds of stretches and heat therapy. Nothing seemed to help. I was worried I would be in pain through the rest of my pregnancy. Then one night I laid down in bed and curled my head down to my big belly. I asked you to please more. I told you that I was in a lot of pain and really uncomfortable. I even cried a little bit. The next morning I woke up and the pain was gone. I was a little sore, but the sharp, intense pain had vanished. I know that you do these movements that feel like you’re having a dance party in my stomach. I know the sound of your heart beat. It’s the most beautiful sound in the world to me.

I pray that you’ll be kind hearted and smart and funny. I know you will be. I know you’ll challenge me in ways that I can’t even imagine right now. There will be lots of times when I let you down. There may be times when you feel you’ve let me down, but I doubt that will be true.

I can’t wait to meet you, to hold you, to smell the top of your forehead, to feel the weight of your body in my arms, to look into your eyes.

I love you forever August.