An Early Open Letter

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An Early Open Letter

Dear ninõ,

I’ve decided to write your letter a little early this month. You will be 4 months in a matter of 4 days! You are currently sleeping as I nurse you on the couch of your Nona and Ada’s house that we still currently live in. You are so long compared to the day I first brought you home. I used to hold you in the football hold to nurse you and can now barely cradle you like the baby that you are. Your feet hang off the couch while you cover your face as you eat. Almost like you sense mommy’s desire for modesty even in an empty house.

I can never describe in words to you the joy, love, and pride you fill my heart with. Just when I think my heart is full and can’t take anymore you pour more into it, proving me wrong. I’ll never be able to make you understand that I’ll NEVER love another like I love you. As you age, I’ll miss these days where I can simply cradle you (with difficulty since you are quickly approaching 2 and a half feet in length if you aren’t already past it) and watch you gain nourishment from my body. I have been very fortunate in that I have not had to spend a single penny on formula. Thank you for already being cost conscious.

I will never forget the moment you were born and my first night with you. As terrifying, painful, and overwhelming as the whole experience was, I can’t think of anything that will ever top that as being the best day of my life. You will hear the story of that day many times as you grow but I cannot help but reminisce one more time. Your first cry as you were introduced to a new world made my heart swell as I wished for nothing more than to hold you in my arms. I don’t know any other way to describe the sound of your cry than it was the most glorious sound I ever heard and knew I’d never hear anything as beautiful. Though now when you cry it either breaks my heart or annoys me, depending on the reason and source of your tears. That night I would spend my time stroking your cheek and  staring into your face rather than sleeping. You are truly a blessing.

You have learned so many new things in the last month. You show more interest in Spanish than you do English. Which is a-okay with me. In a country that is doing nothing but growing in diversity, learning a second language is a necessity. You love to bounce in the baby bouncer and have almost mastered sitting up unassisted. As long as you are distracted by your favorite toys, you got it. Otherwise you topple over onto your side. Even though you struggle to learn how to crawl you’re more interested in walking. If anyone is near you walking, you stare at their feet determined to understand the mechanics of it. This, too, you struggle to master and can do it with an amazing ability with assistance. You also now laugh on a daily basis in reaction to being tickled and amused and the joy of hearing this may possibly top the sounds of your first cry. They are definitely tied for first.

I hate to hit the tough subject but it is one that will need to be said as you grow. I firmly believe in being one hundred percent honest with you as you transition from toddler to child to teen and eventually adulthood. It is not my intention to keep you ignorant about the man that helped create you. My goal is to educate you of our mistakes in hopes you’ll learn to do better than us.

In a matter of weeks, it will be 4 months since your father’s last visit. I can say with no uncertain terms that he loves you. I can’t predict the future but if things keep up as they have been, you are quite possibly reading that last sentence with skepticism. But believe when I say, he does love you! I would not and will not lie to you (except about typical holiday characters. If you still believe, at 18, disregard that last statement. They are real and Santa and the Easter Bunny will bring you something extra special.) Your father is simply lost and confused in the path his life has taken him thus far.

I will go further to say, as you may or may not already know, that when you were just over 3 months old, he did make an attempt to ask me about coming to visit you. I did what I believed (and still believe) was best for you at the time and told him that because he had made no attempt to help support you or see you that I expected a number of things of him before I would allow him to Waltz back into your life and, quite possibly, right back out. I needed to know he was committed to being a father and helping me provide for you was going to help show me that he was. I was not and still will not allow a man to come and go as he pleases in your life. It will do more harm than good. Never forget, that as your mother, it is my job to protect you to the best of my ability. Even if it pisses you off. (Yes, mommy can cuss and you can’t cause I’m the mommy and I can still take you. I don’t care how old you are.)

When I presented those conditions to your father he did not acknowledge them or ask me again about seeing you. His communication returned to simply asking how you were doing every few days. Once again I found myself in a predicament of having to decide what I believed to be in your best interest and gave him an ultimatum. He was to either participate and take an active role in your life and upbringing or he was to discontinue contact. I felt his involvement being only limited to checking up on you every few weeks through email was unfair to him, myself, and most importantly, you. You deserve the world plus some. You deserve a man in your life that will freely and willingly play a positive role model in your life. One that you can turn to in times you feel I am not enough. You deserve a man that will shower you with fatherly love and not be afraid to show it. You deserve more. I hate that the truth has to be so ugly and that you are a casualty of two individuals selfishness.

Never! And I mean NEVER let anyone tell you that you were a mistake. You were an unexpected accident, yes. But never a mistake. Know that there is a gross difference between the two. And that you are an accident I would gladly do over a hundred times and more. You just let me know if anyone ever tries to call you a mistake and I will take care of them. You always have and always will be the center of my universe. The reason my heart keeps beating and my inspiration to always do better. To say, I love you is a vast understatement.

Always and forever,
Tu madre

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