My Dearest Brynlee,
It’s me. Dad. I’m not much of a writer but for a while now, I knew I wanted to mark this moment as a Dad-to-be — when I knew of you but before I met you. I decided a note of unconditional love felt right. My hope is one day, many years from now, you stumble upon this and appreciate the glimpse through my eyes. This is a time you will not know yet it’s still part of your story. I didn’t know how I’d do this. I didn’t know what I’d say. I still don’t really. But the opportunity is slipping so the time is now because I’m days away from holding you in my arms.
As I write this, I’m laying next to you. It’s a chilly May night and the window is open. Thoughts are swirling in my head, yet, I’m finding it hard to pause the madness and articulate. From what I can gather, the thoughts are that of gratitude, excitement, and nervousness — I’m feeling, well, alive. That’s the best way I can describe it. It’s either that or the hypothermia setting in. Mommy thinks our room is an oven. I’m freezing. It’s an icebox in here but I digress. Truth be told, I wouldn’t have it any other way. There is nothing else I’d rather be doing. Nowhere else I’d rather be and I’m only teasing about the temperature. I can only imagine the strength it takes to carry a baby, especially a baby Brynlee because, girl, you’re crazy in there. You sure like to move. I can’t help but relish in this moment that I even get to write this and that we are so close to meeting you.
You’ll never truly understand the journey your mom and I traveled to get to you. And, you don’t have to. That doesn’t matter now. What matters is that we have you. It makes it all the sweeter that we do. A smooth ride to you wasn’t in the cards but they say, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” That could not be truer. So as I lay here, mommy is tossing and turning in her sleep, you’re wiggling, and from the looks of it either trying to bust your way out through her belly button or having a dance party. I don’t blame you though, you’re daddy’s girl and the night time is our time.
Your nursery is all set. Your closet looks like backstage at baby fashion week. You already have too many stuffed animals and I really hope, I mean REALLY hope, you like elephants and giraffes because they’re everywhere.
It seems to be the most common question I get asked – are you nervous? Yes is the answer but not for the reason everyone thinks. I’m not nervous about “those things.” It’s poop. It’s gross, yes, but no big deal. Sleep would be nice but I can do with less. I’ll just have a greater appreciation for naps when those come around. I don’t know why you will not stop crying but I’ll get through it and I probably was second guessing wearing that shirt today anyway — I’m glad you spit up on it; decision made.
What I am nervous about though is the big stuff. I feel an enormous amount of weight on my shoulders to be your rock, protector and guide through life — to lift you up. The last I checked they don’t make a step-by-step guide for this. Luckily though, there are a few things that give me peace.
I know you’re beautiful. I know you’re strong. I know that without seeing you. I’ve heard your heart. I’ve been to every doctor’s appointment and I heard your strength. What will make you the most beautiful is your intelligence, your character, and your talents. Look to your heart for the strength to prioritize those first. And don’t worry, if you don’t see that immediately I’ll be here to remind you.
I’ll encourage you to chase your dreams. Be uncomfortable. You’ll be better for it. Fail. It’s ok. I’ll be here to pick you up. Just remember how important it is to get back up and try again. Life isn’t easy, it’s tough. At every corner, there will be something or someone trying to tear you down. Words matter. Words are powerful. I hope my words can compete with the words of the world.
Lastly, I find comfort in knowing the type of home you are coming to. There is a lot of love here. We are tolerant. We’re not perfect. It’s important to us that we are always learning. We’re fun and a lot of silly. It’s important to care about others. Be selfless. I just want you to know you are protected, valued and loved here.
I can’t wait to meet you.
Love you infinity,