Letters to Leia

Intro to Letters

Over the coming months I’m going to be posting short letters that I’m writing to our baby.  Of course, It won’t be reading them anytime soon, so I suppose their written to myself as much as anyone else.  The subject and the object, though, of these letters is our developing baby, so I think its appropriate to call them “Letters to the baby.”  “Baby Bronco” is simply what we call it (thanks to me, of course!) right now.  Once we know its sex (February most likely), we’ll probably call It by Its name, but y’all won’t know that name till the little thing joins the rest of us “on the outside!”  No offense, but we don’t want your comments, so we’re not sharing!  (A little wisdom we’ve learned from others.)

These letters are very reflective of the Father, me, and so they are probably more philosophical than you might like or want to read.  If that’s the case….sorry!  Feel free to skip over the letters in favor of my other posts if you don’t like them.  The letters reflect things that I think, worries I have, hopes I have, etc….  They’re not meant to be critical of others, and they are definitely not written with others as the audience.  Anyway, there you go (as a UK friend of mine says we Americans say a lot)!  Enjoy the random letters I post to Baby Bronco.

Letter #1 – October 31, 2010

I found out last week about you.  It was Monday, October 25, 2010.  What a great day!  We’ve waited so long for you.  Its so hard to believe that our waiting is almost over – well almost!  Your Mother was crying with joy at about 6am, and Mitzi had a bandana on that said “Sister to be.”  I’ll never forget that morning and that day.  It seemed like the colors of the world were brighter and somehow more vibrant than normal.  Everything seemed right with the world, and what wasn’t right, I felt like you could change it.

God has breathed life, and hope, and Spirit into you in a way that God has never done with anyone else.  You are being fearfully and wonderfully made – as I write this!  Amazing!

I love you little one.  I can’t wait to meet you.

Love,

Your Father

Letter #2 – November 7, 2010

You had your first heartbeat today!  I can’t barely even fathom that.  What does it beat for, I wonder?  It beats for life, of course, coursing and pumping, creating life out of the strangest conditions.  But for what purpose does it beat?  For love?  Will you be the one?  Will you change the world?  Will you choose love, and life?  Will you be light amidst the darkness?  Will you outshine the darkness?

There is too much darkness my little one.  It makes it very hard to see the goodness that God saw in the beginning.  Our eyes are clouded, our ears covered, both by sin.  Oh how we need our ears and eyes opened, opened to see God’s goodness – to be God’s goodness.  Will you teach me how to see and how to hear?

I will teach you all I know, but I’m afraid I doubt my eyes and ears and too often allow them to be covered again.  Is there still time?  Can you help me?  Does your heart beat with God’s love and light?  I wonder, when does that change in our lives little one?

Love,

Your Father

Letter #3 – November 14, 2010

You’re the size of a tadpole now, according to your mother.  A tadpole!  Despite your small size, you’re having a very big impact on our lives!  I can barely fathom how little you are, and all the changes you’re going through.  Life is so fragile.  It is so delicate.

It has been very interesting to learn all this new information from baby books and email updates.  All the sources reference “you baby….”  I.e., Our baby – my baby!  Our baby, wow!  I like the sound of that.

Love,

Your Father

Letter #4 – November 14, 2010

You’re causing a lot of grief for your mother right now, do you know that?  Don’t get me wrong, we love you, but you are!  The nurse said that you will indiscriminately take from Lauren everything that you need in order to grow and be healthy.  Well, you’re doing just that I suppose.

You’re taking her energy.  I read that I should imagine that your mother feels like I do after a big workout – all the time!  Wow!  No wonder she’s going to bed at 8pm so often.

You’re also taking all sorts of vitamins and nutrients from her.  As a result, she’s eating all sorts of weird things, or weird portions of things.

Oh, and I should probably mention that she’s having trouble keeping the food that she’s eating down.  When she is able to keep her food down, she’s almost constantly affected by nausea and heartburn.

She hasn’t gained any weight yet, but she will.  (By the way, people are already saying all sorts of insensitive, idiotic things about her waist, hips, thighs, etc….  People, do you think before you speak?!)  Trust me, she does not like this, and soon she will begin to deal with the physical effects of weight gain, back aches, foot pain, etc… – she’ll like this even less.  You know what?  She’s happily going through all of this because she loves you.  I’m doing all sorts of extras right now to support her, because I love her, and you, too!  You are loved!  You’re not going  to have to repay us for any of this – you can’t.  Our parents did the same for us, as there’s did for them.  One day, hopefully many years from now, you’ll hopefully do the same for your own children.

We’re learning how to love something that can’t love us back (any time soon, that is) and won’t be able to repay us.  Thank you for teaching us this lesson.  We love you.  Go easy on your mom, OK?

Love,

Your Father

Letter #5 – December 21, 2010

About 10 days ago we were able to see you for the first time!  It was such an amazing experience.  At first I thought maybe you were twins!  It turns out, however, that what I was seeing in addition to you was the placenta.  You looked so strange, almost alien-like, and yet so beautiful.  You had a rather large head (that’s OK, some people say I have a big head too sometimes!), and a torso, and four little ball-like nubs for limbs.  Your little heart was beating like crazy too!  That last part left quite an impression on me.  Perhaps most interesting to me was your movement.  I don’t know why, but I didn’t expect you to be moving much yet.  You were doing more than just move, though; you were dancing all around!  I don’t know what else to call it, you were dancing!  It was beautiful – you are beautiful.

I wonder what causes your rapid movements right now?  Is it the the result of purely biological causes?  Your muscles are developing, along with your nervous system, and the dancing is maybe a natural way to continue the developmental process, for your body to both strengthen, and for you to grow accustomed to how your body works?  Perhaps.  Are you bored, and your boredom causes you to move around?  Are you reacting to the noises you hear from the outside world, or perhaps the nutrients you are receiving?  Or, did you see us looking at you and decide to put on a show?!

Whatever the case may be, keep it up!  Dance your little rapidly-beating heart away.  It was a beautiful sight to see – you are a beautiful sight to see.

Love,

Your Father

Letter #6 – December 25, 2010

Its Christmas morning little child!  Today we celebrate the only hope for this world.  That hope comes to us not in power and might, not with tanks or planes, and not with guns, but in the form of a tiny, helpless baby.  I hope more than anything else that you will experience and live out that hope.

Today I think about how different life soon will be.  No more staying up late at parties with family and friends on Christmas Eve (except maybe next year).  No, for the next probably 12-15 years (we do plan to have other children too, you know!), Christmas Eve will mean a few of our own traditions and putting you down early (though you certainly won’t sleep!) and staying up late putting together your toy or bike, or whatever….  It will be so much fun!  I can’t wait.

But I must say, little one, I’m so torn about all of this.  Much of me doesn’t want to lie to you about Santa and all the rest – building you up for an epistemological crisis someday.  If we lie to you about Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and so on, how will you know that we’re not also lying to you about God the Father, about the Son Jesus, and about the Holy Spirit who even now is knitting you together?  Moreover, do I want to send you the mixed signals that “Jesus is the reason for the season…” but at the same time promote a myth which will make Christmas – unavoidably – about a different figure altogether, and ultimately, about consumerism.  I just don’t know what to do about this little one.

At the same time, though, I want to foster your creativity – I want to help you to dream big and to have a terrific imagination.  An imagination, and the ability to dream big dreams and then pursue those dreams, is something that is lost on many young people today.  I want more for you.

My favorite author, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote very creative letters to his children from Father Christmas.  I have a book of those collected letters, and it was one of my favorite Christmas gifts of all time.  When I read it, and examine the hand-draw pictures I see the kind of creativity and wonder I’d like to see you experience.  I just don’t want to enslave you to mammon, unknowingly, by co-opting one of our most precious Christian holidays.  I love you wee child.  I love you.  In that love, I say that I don’t want you to have everything you ever want child.  We won’t be able to afford it, and if we can, I hope we can demonstrate the necessary willpower to not give in.  Oh child, we will give you good gifts, we will spoil you, and you will always know that you are loved – unconditionally.  But I do not want you to be, well, a spoiled-brat!  I want you to learn the value of hard work, of waiting for things, and of sharing.

Can you tell I think about this a lot?  I do.  Especially during this season, you, and the content of this letter, are on my mind almost constantly.

I have no idea what next year and the years after will be like.  I have no idea what you’ll be like – who you’ll be.  I have no idea what kind of parents we’ll be either.  We’ll do our best, but I know we’ll fail you sometimes.  Despite that, we will love you with all our hearts, and we will strive to raise you right.  You won’t always like it, I suppose, or us, but we make you that promise nonetheless.

We’ve got a lot to figure out, but one thing is certain – we love you, and we can’t wait for your first Christmas!

Love,

Your Father

Letter #7 – January 7, 2011

A few weeks ago I realized, a little anyway, how much my life is about to change.  The day before we went home for Christmas I finally got around to painting the 11th &12th grade Life Group room at church.  Your mother was off of work, and willing to help, but couldn’t because of you.  You see painting is something that we always do together.  We’ve painted several houses, churches, and even some of her parent’s Sleep Lab.  Always before this was something that we did together.  This time, however, I didn’t have my partner.

I wouldn’t say that I was exactly jealous of you, although that is a very common emotion for new fathers and fathers-to-be, but I did mourn, in a small way, the passing of our independence.  We’ve been married for close to nine years little one, and we dated for four years prior to getting married.  That means we’ve had almost 13 years to get used to each other, and to enjoy being married without the burden of children.  Don’t get me wrong, we welcome the “burden” and we’ve anticipated you for many years, but that doesn’t change the fact that our lives are changing in a way that will take some getting used to.  Its funny that paint is what did it for me, but there you have it.  I think maybe its due to the unexpectedness of this that I took note.  I expect to lose sleep, to be broke, and to not be able to do all the things that I’ve grown accustomed to.  What I didn’t expect, however, was to lose my painting partner.

She’s a good painting partner, and in general, I enjoy her companionship.

I do take solace, though, in knowing that if I’m losing her companionship (and only periodically and very temporarily) its because you need it.  I suppose I can share her with you baby.  She’s the best part of my life, and the best that I have to offer is yours, completely.

Love,

Your Father

Letter #8 – February 2, 2011

Hello Little One.  I haven’t had much to write lately, but you are always on my mind.  Who exactly are you, I wonder?  Your mother wants to know whether you’re a boy or a girl, and so we will find out a week from tomorrow.  I think I’d rather not know yet, but since I know I’m going to anyway, I’m dying to know now!  I want to start calling you by name.  I want to start reading to you (The Lord of the Rings of course!).  I think its going to really help me understand and prepare for this whole thing – for you, that is!

I’ve been writing your possible names out all day.  Name 1 if you’re a boy, and name #2 if you’re a girl. I really like them both so much.  We’re not entirely sure about your middle name if you’re a boy, but I think we’ve almost settled on it.  We’re not going to tell others your name until you’re born, but we’ll tell you – and that’s all that matters!

I love you little baby – whoever you are!  I guess we’ll know soon enough!

Love,

Your Father

Letter #9 – February 25, 2011

Leia,  (Not her real name….  Sorry, you’ll find out when she’s born!)

Well, its been almost two weeks since we found out who you are little one!  I’m sorry that I’m just now sitting down and writing this letter.  My blog software was messed up for the first week, and then, well, I just forgot.

Can I just tell you, “I love you” young lady!  I can’t wait to meet you, and to hold you in my hands.  A little girl – wow!  My life is about to change big time.  Leia (I’ll be using the pseudonym “Leia” until you’re born) I want you to know right now that it doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, whether or not you’re good at sports (or even like them), like the outdoors, or go on to get a Ph.D. – whatever you do, there will never come a time when I will not love you.  I hope that as you grow older, you’ll know that I am always there for you, and that I will always love you – no matter how many dumb things you do!

I promise to be the best Father to you I can.  As a part of that, I promise to be the best husband to your mother as I can too.  Just as important as how much I love you, is how much I love her.  You (and your future brothers and sisters) will be first in my heart, but she owns my heart!  One day you’ll understand…

Anyway, I will no-doubt let you down, Leia, but I will try my best to be the best dad I can be.  I promise.

Love,

Your Father

Letter #10 – March 18, 2011

Dear Leia,

I put your crib together a few days ago.  I can honestly tell you that I’ve never been more excited or more nervous about putting together a piece of furniture.  Your first bed….wow!  Now don’t get in too much of a hurry.  We still have a lot to do before you arrive, and you have a lot more growing to do as well!  It was an important milestone, though – something I’ll always remember.

I hope you’ll like your bed.  It’s nothing too fancy, but then, I don’t want you to have anything too fancy.  It’s a cute, white crib, that will convert into a toddler bed when you’re ready.  It’s sturdy, has great matching furniture, and it was affordable.

Once it was put together we looked at it and I pretended as if I was putting you into it.  In just a few months that’s exactly what I will be doing (hopefully you’ll comply!).  I can’t wait until I can hold you in my arms, rock you to sleep, and then put you to bed in your crib.  I’ve never really done that, so you’re going to have to teach me (and be patient).

For now, I’ll keep getting your room ready for you.  Next up: paint.

Love,

Your Father

Letter 11 – March 30, 2011

Dear Leia,

We’re on our first trip out of the country with you, sort of.  We’re in the Dominican Republic scouting out a mission trip I’m leading this summer.  It is also supposed to be the beginning of a multi-year church partnership, so we should take multiple trips here.  Its been a great trip so far (except for your mother’s bad sunburn).  Good thing you’re protected in there!

We’ve stayed with Church of the Nazarene missionaries and traveled to several different communities, meeting with their pastors and some of the church members, and lots of children.  (I’ll write you more about them later.)

Perhaps it is selfish, but of all these things, my mind is gravitating towards what we did today – when I think of you that is.  Today we went to the beach!  We sat on a private cabana out in the water and we relaxed.  We swam in the Caribbean Sea, walked along the beach, we read, and we talked – it was a great day!  I love the water, Leia, and the ocean especially.  I hope you will too!  I didn’t get to see the ocean for the first time until I was 18 and I went to Point Loma (I hope you’ll want to go there!).  (I did go to Florida when I was very young, but I can’t remember that.)  I fell in love with every part of the ocean, and would swim and lay on the beach as often as I could.  I really hope that you won’t have to wait 18years before you see the ocean.  I want it to fill you with awe like does me.  I want it to inspire you.  The ocean is a constant reminder to me about how small I am in the grand scheme of things – about how the world does not revolve around me.  It took me a long time to learn that lesson, Leia, and I’m sure the ocean helped.  I hope you learn that lesson sooner than I did.

Your first trip to the ocean looks to be San Diego, this Au

tumn.  We’re going there for a conference.  That’s fitting, since it was my first real experience of the ocean too.  You won’t remember it, though, as I don’t remember Florida.  I hope that at an early age, we are able to instill in you a love of water, and that you won’t be afraid of it.

I can’t wait to play in the water with you little girl!  I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!

Love,

Your Father

Letter #12 – June 10, 2011

Dear Leia,

Hi little girl.  Its been far too long since I’ve written you a letter.  Please know that it wasn’t due to my not thinking about you.  We’ve been so busy preparing for you Leia.  Most likely, we’ll finally meet you in about a month!

Here’s something I’ve been thinking of lately.  Too many people go through their lives unloved, or assuming that people will not love them.  I want you to know that no matter what, even if I don’t agree with choices, I will always love you, and I’ll always be there for you.

I will love you…….

  • If you make good choices
  • If you do well in school
  • If you play sports I enjoy
  • If you love and serve God
  • If you choose a career that allows you to serve others and improve the world
  • If you marry a man who I think is right for you, according to timing that I feel comfortable with
  • If you like “good” music.

But, Leia, I will also love you…

  • If you make bad choices
  • If you play sports that I don’t like, or have hobbies that I’m not interested in
  • If you don’t share my theology, or even if you don’t believe in God at all
  • If you don’t do well in school
  • If you choose a career that is self-oriented, and primarily about earning money.
  • If you are homosexual
  • If you like “bad” music

Basically, Leia, I want you to read this one day and know (or be reminded) that I love you – no matter what.  Not with a shallow love, but with a fierce, undeniable love that means no matter what you do (or don’t do), or where you go (or don’t go)….no matter what, I’ll always love and support you.

I may not always agree with you, but I will always love you – and that’s much better.

Love,

Your Father

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