It is a rainy fall night here in Chicago and I am waiting for your dad to get home from work. He is two days into a new job and beginning his new career as an attorney. It has been a very big month for him thus far. In early October he received news that he passed the bar exam! Then this week he started his job and today he celebrates a birthday. I can't help but wonder what we will do to celebrate his birthday next year when you are here. Maybe we can scheme up a surprise for him. I can't wait for you to meet your dad. I am biased as his wife, but I think most people would agree that he is a pretty incredible guy. He is caring, thoughtful, and funny. He is smart and talented and strong. He makes everyone in his life feel special and is the best listener. It's hard to sum him up into words. I have known him for almost ten years and it's difficult for me to remember a time when he wasn't there. In some ways I feel as if I have always known him. I imagine we will feel this way with you too.
Your dad and I met in a college fiction writing class. I still remember the first day of that semester, walking into class and spotting him seated down the row. It was probably the only time he arrived to class before I did (he was usually late to class, though he always found a way to make up for it when he arrived). I remember thinking he looked very smart, thoughtful, and handsome. He had an instant charm that drew everyone in class to him. He knew just when to lighten the discussion or to pose a serious question. He had friendly warm eyes, eyes I was too shy to look into when we first met.
Months later, I remember bumping into him on campus one afternoon. I was frazzled, leaving the art studio weighed down with my portfolio and supplies. He was strolling up through campus, on his way to class. We stopped and talked briefly, my heart racing the whole time.
Here we are, many years later, a similar afternoon passing by and I still find myself with a racing heart, waiting for the gate to open and for him to come into the door.
Little one, down the road I hope you too find a person that brings you everything your dad brings to me. I truly feel like the luckiest woman everyday to know him, to call him my best friend, and to share everything with him. It has been incredible to be on this path to parenthood together. I can't think of a better partner to go through this with. He is going to be a wonderful father, one I know you will have a special relationship with. Fathers and daughters share a unique bond and I know you will absolutely share one with him. He has been so great throughout this pregnancy, supporting me through every step. He is so protective of you and is watchful of anything that might cause you harm. He is bonded to you already.
We have been busy, busy preparing for you. Between birthing classes, appointments, and preparing your nursery, we have been trying to stay on top of everything. Last week when we were cleaning out some old boxes in what was once my office and is now your nursery, we stumbled upon a sealed envelope that read, "Not to be opened until August 6, 2010: 50 check-ins to check into when we are old." We looked at it curiously and opened it up. Inside we found a list we'd made together during the late summer of 2003. Jogging back through memories, we remembered we had made the list when we were moving your dad out to Baltimore to start his job as a high school English teacher. We wrote it in the car along the way. At the time I still had one year of college to finish. We were newly engaged. He was 24, I was 21.
The list of check-ins was pretty amusing. Some of the highlights included:
- won't buy matching pajamas
- no craft-o-matic bed
- won't spend more money on car than on fun
- keep traveling even if we don't have any money
- will visit all continents
- no pet birds, hamsters, and the like
- ride our bikes across one state
- have a dog
- be regular theater goers
- take our kids traveling
- will not be lame
- grow our own vegetables
- still dress up for halloween
- fishing trip somewhere
- take our kids to columbia, missouri
- fix up an old car
- keep myndi out of mom jeans
- have a studio
- some fancy sheets
- cook a nice meal once a week
- stay connected to old friends
- do not fall into soft rock radio trap
- take charlie to wisconsin
I don't think we've done too bad. We haven't visited all of the continents, but there's still time. You may have noticed you made the list too. Even back then we were thinking about you, this little, remarkable person to join us in our life together.
Your arrival is not far away now. In just a few months we will all finally meet face to face. You have been kicking and squirming around like crazy, usually in the mornings or in the evenings before I go to bed. I worry about you, hoping you are okay in there, getting everything that you need. I pray that you stay safe and sound and continue to grow and thrive. My belly is getting bigger everyday. Last weekend, your dad and I traveled up to Michigan and he took this photo of my ever expanding belly. We were exploring the sand dunes and this photo was snapped just before I was overwhelmed in a windy gust of sand in the face.
At the top of the dunes, which took us a long time to climb (see those tiny specs of people behind me?), we made a promise to bring you back next summer. Hopefully it will be a less windy day. I think you will love it there.
We are so excited for you to arrive. Based on your ultrasound photos, you are already a beauty. Inching closer to seeing you everyday and I can't wait.
All my love,