You’re still three and a half months away from us, we hope. You kick and squirm and your dad does the same when he feels you through my belly. Tiny little you and your movements make a grown man leap and scream. You already have such power. Before you nestled inside my uterus, we knew you would be immensely powerful–when you were just a dream or a hope or a maybe because of everything we did to get you here. You may only be the size of an eggplant but you have the strength to grab our hearts and souls already.
Someday when you’re older and can understand, I will tell you about the late winter and spring of 2020. I’ll tell you how people looked at this year as a chance to live out their “2020 Visions.” How it was a fresh start for many because something about those two zeroes made everyone feel a new, clean hope. I’ll tell you about no snow days (or just one fake one) and a warm winter that was still wrapped in wintry melancholy, somehow.
Then, I’ll tell you about how your daddy worked 80 hour weeks, all of the sudden. His phone would TING TING in the night and his fingers would clickety-clack out emails at all hours. How he planned and calculated and attempted to save lives in our state. And how suddenly his brand of germaphobia became the way of the whole land.
And conversely, I’ll tell you how you and me were confined to 807 with the occasional fresh air mixed in. How our whole world became gripped by a new fear, for ourselves, for humanity, and for you. I’ll tell you how we loved sleeping for 10 hours, going for distance walks with our family and friends, drinking a pregnancy-appropriate-amount of coffee from a ceramic mug, and taking the most thorough notes for my 8th graders. And I’ll tell you how I had to stop listening to the radio, in favor of the slowest music or a podcast about presidents or the history of soda, because I didn’t want us to hear and feel the weight of the world, particularly on your brand new ears. I’ll tell you how your sweet auntie planned a baby shower for you and how she and I sat together picking everything out for you. Then we had to move it to after you were born. And how even though the world looked relatively normal, it was upside down or sideways or inside out, or all of the above.
I will tell you how we tried to plan for you in the midst of this thing, not knowing what a hospital will look like when you’re ready to enter the world through one–how I tried to prepare myself to be alone for your birth because some new mommas around the country are doing just that. But then I’ll tell you how your great aunts helped me pick paints and a layout for your room. And how I had groceries delivered so you and I could keep drinking lemonade every night.
Most of all, Baby, I will remind you over and over how you were my built-in beacon of light through the weirdest time our generations have ever known. How I rubbed your soccer-ball-sized casing for my own comfort, for yours, for ours, and how I hoped your arrival would be my bookend for this madness. And when I craved touch but your daddy wasn’t home, I had you.
I will tell you how before you were born, you offered so much comfort. But all of those stories are a few years away. So for now, stay squishy and squirmy and stay with me. We’re making a spring wreath today–I’ll need your help.