I originally published this in 2009 on a blog called Letters to NMW, where I wrote pieces to Noah/about Noah.
It’s been a long time since I wrote you. Such is my life as a working mom.
You turned five months on Monday, and each day you become more and more active. A few weeks ago you mastered the roll, every way. You now prefer your tummy, even sleeping on it. You’re beginning to army crawl. Your giggles fill our house. It’s Christmas time. And I’m in love.
I thought you were a girl.
My high school seniors are writing about love, their relationships. One of my male students writes about his girlfriend who doesn’t treat him well. He spends too much money on her. She seems ungrateful. She seems to be using him. He seems sad.
As your mother, as a mother of a son, I now look at everything differently–especially love, how I treated boys, how I hurt boys, how I hurt mothers’ sons. It kills me now to think of love in my teens and early twenties. How selfish I was. How if someone did that to you one day I’d be heartbroken.
I want you to know that I will be here through all the pain. No one will love you like I do.
Here’s something I wrote recently on your friend Veronica’s mom’s blog about anticipation:
It’s weird remembering being pregnant…it feels so far away now. Some days when I’m driving home from work and Noah’s in the backseat sleeping, I think of last year being pregnant and all the things I could have done and didn’t do, the freedom I had–but didn’t know I had. On those days, I wish I was pregnant again, to anticipate the flutters of his tiny feet, with me every day, swimming in me. How wonderful that was! Everyone said, “You’ll know when it happens.” Waiting for that first real kick. And they were right. I knew it. And it was Noah, without being Noah yet, and that’s an overwhelming thing to think about. To look at him now and imagine him in there, in me. His breath within my body, without breathing yet.
Now, I anticipate every day I get to spend with him. Christmases. First days of school. Swim lessons. Road trips. And the first glass of wine we share.
Tonight, in the bath tub, I watched you kick those feet. Who will you be? Whom will you love? Your life is yours to do something great with.
That’s hard for me to say now, knowing them, loving them. But it’s true. When I was pregnant with Noah, I imagined Sonoma, the name I wanted to give my daughter. I imagined her curls and cute dresses and conversations about boys that we would have in her teens. Then I had Noah, and I forgot about wanting a girl.
When I got pregnant again, the dream of a girl resurfaced. Noah would have a sister and it would be perfect. He would be an amazing big brother. “The good news is…you’re having a girl,” my sister pronounced when I was hosptialized for extreme nausea during my first trimester. We were all convinced.
Then the ultrasound showed a penis. Another penis. Another boy. My boys.
Today, I don’t think about it much. I’m too busy loving these guys to care about pink tutus and period talks. But I know there will be moments in the future when I’ll wonder what a daughter would have been like — wedding days and junior-high dances. Right now, I’m going to bask in the love that my boys give me every day, knowing one day they might love someone else more than me. Right now, I’m going to find joy in being the love of their lives.