I love you already. You’re a tiny alien-mushy-human-squish. I saw your little face in a photo last night. You have a nose and at least one foot. You look all cozy and curled and colorless. I mean when are sonograms gonna come in more than black and white? AmIright?
We won’t be able to have even a semblance of a conversation for at least another 18 months. I don’t know what ice cream flavor is your craving or whether or not you like sprinkles. I’m not sure what you’re favorite color will be or whether you will like your mattress firm or soft. Will you prefer spring or fall? What will be your favorite book that Mommy will have to read to you over and over again? What will you think of Piper and Joe? Will you fall asleep more easily with your bassinet on the dryer? What will your resounding giggle sound like?
I can’t wait to know the answers to these wonderings but most of all I can’t wait to know you. And the arms that receive you into this world will be the most loving ones. You’ll have Aubrey as a momma and Lochdawg as a poppa and you won’t even believe your grandparents.
We are an “I love you” family, a share everything family, a family that eats together on Sundays, and laughs at ourselves and especially at one another. We love animals and we don’t mind pet dander. We love mushiness and we don’t mind tears. We embrace weird and eschew normalcy. We love colors and books and people and Baltimore and riding bikes to free festivals and duckpin bowling and Michigan in August and reading and crammed hotel rooms and inclusion and making snow angels and cuddling reluctant cats. We like tap water and coffee pots with timers and plants in the rowhouse yard and giving snacks to the kids in the neighborhood.
You are going to have love exploding out of your fingertips–honestly you already do. We’re going to marvel at you and love on you and just say, “Oh my god s/he is so perfect.”
As your Auntie Amandy, I promise to listen to you always. I can teach you about “second dessert” and “breakfast treat.” I’ll tell you all about your Great Grandmom and what your momma was like when she was tiny. I promise to pick you up from school and force you to tell me that school was more than just “goooooddddd.” I promise to keep your secrets and let you tell me about boys or girls. We will play Bananagrams and eat peanut M&Ms like I do with my aunts. I can make you a mish-mash of veggies like Grandpa Dick (are we calling him that?) makes and we can gush about how funny Grammom Nancy is. I promise to help you edit your English papers and to stay far away from your calculus work because even Mr. Sung couldn’t save me. I promise to teach you downward facing dog and half pigeon and tripod headstand. I promise to introduce you to books and books and books. You already love to read–I can just tell. Hopefully you’re a fast reader like your momma. I promise to listen to you when life gets hard–and it will–I can just tell. I promise to hear your kindergarten woes like they’re threats from North Korea and I will hear you and I will help you problem solve. I will give you hugs and write you notes and tell you it’s going to be okay, because 97% of the time, it will be. And I will be there for the 3% too.
I promise to listen to your concerns about your friends and about the world and about global politics. And I promise that even if we don’t agree, I will hear you out and model how to be a listener and how to be open-minded. I promise to send you snail-mail from three miles down the road. I promise to complain about your cell phone (or whatever they call them in 10 years) and to smack it out of your hand and tell you to “be present.” I promise to let you make mistakes and then walk you through how to learn from them. I promise to teach you to be responsible. You will empty the dishwasher without being asked, you’ll pick up dog poop. You will be independent, but, I will love when you depend on me. I promise to celebrate you and let you know how proud we are of you–balloons and streamers and awkward decorations.
In about 16 years, can run your first half marathon with your momma and me. We can show you the spot in Grammom and Grandpa’s foyer where we wrote all over the wall with pencils and they left it there for years. We will point out where we buried the 5-year-old goldfish Chuckie and we will tell you all about Nike and Duffy. We will go to O’s games and your dadda and your Great Uncle Michael will take you to see the Ravens.
You’re going to see the Midwest and you’re going to travel all kinds of places–for family and for fun. You will learn to appreciate syndicated Seinfeld episodes and George will probably be your favorite. And if your momma won’t explain all the references to you, your Aunt Amandy and your grammom will step right in.
I’ll make sure you know what gratitude feels like, what love feels like, what helping feels like, what “being woke” feels like. You’re going to have the best life. And the best family.
Love you so much already,
Your Aunt Amandy
PS: If Uncle Chas tries to teach you animals’ sounds, please check with someone else first. His sense of humor is weird.