Dear Baby E,
You’re late. I suspect this may be a good indication that we will get along well. (I think this trait may come from both sides!).
As your grandmother, I reserve the right to tell you what’s up, and rest assured I probably will, whether you like it or not. Heads up – from age 11 to 18, you probably won’t like it at all. But I know you’ll have been raised right so you’ll smile politely and half agree, then you’ll go home and grumble. And that’s okay. But I hope you and I have the kind of relationship where you feel safe enough to grumble to my face. So I can grumble back and then we can talk about our grumblings. Like Bears. Bears grumble a lot. But that’s the best kind of friendship there is. The ones where you’re comfortable enough to grumble together.
So you’re getting ready to make your grand entrance into this world. (A week late, but I’ve already pointed that out). And you’ve probably heard a few things over the last 9 months from your cozy warm spot inside Mom’s belly, and you may be a little freaked about coming out. I don’t blame you. But here’s the thing.
The world is still a good place.
I know, I know. That’s not what you’ve heard. I get it. But I have to believe it is. I have to believe that there are still really, really good people around us. I happen to know a few of them. You’ll be meeting them soon, but here’s a preview.
Your Dad. Well, let’s start with the super cool fact that your dad is a firefighter!! Yeah, he can drive the firetruck!!
And spray the big hose! How cool is that? (We don’t have red engines here, sorry). But basically what your dad does is a service, which means he’s ready to lay his life down for others at a moments notice. Right now he doesn’t do a whole lot of running into burning buildings, and we’re okay with that, but he knows how. Your Dad also has a great sense of humor, a huge heart, he’s really smart, and he’s pretty much a walking encyclopedia, so keep that in mind when you need to research for school projects. Best of all, he loves Jesus, and he loves your Mom beyond measure, so that makes him tops in our book. Trust me, I know all about great Dads, and you’ve snagged yourself a keeper.
Your Mom – Well, you’ll see as soon as you arrive, but you have a gorgeous mom. She is truly beautiful, not only on the outside, but on the inside too. Though I suspect she’ll be a wee bit tired when you first meet. There’s so much to say about her, but I think you’ll figure out pretty quickly that she’s super cool and chill. Your mom has the best laugh. She got it from her Dad, more about him in a bit. She’s also got a wicked sense of humor – the sarcasm gene runs strong, you have been warned. (I take full credit for this trait). She is also the most loving person you will ever meet. She went to Africa and Romania and loved on little kids. She’s got the biggest brightest smile that makes you feel right at home and I bet you have the same one. I can’t wait to see the two of you smiling at each other. I will probably cry and pretend there’s dust in the air. Speaking of crying, sorry to say but you’re pretty much emotionally screwed from the get go. You come from two extremely emotional families. With the exception of myself, who is finding keeping those emotions at bay more difficult as each year passes, everyone can cry at the drop of a hat. So you might want to invest in the Kleenex company. Your mom loves music, and she loves to shop (my apologies, it’s my fault), and she is the best photographer, ever. You will have the most beautiful baby pictures. And all the pictures for the rest of your life. You’re set. So hopefully you don’t inherit your dad’s aversion to cameras, because . . . well, it’s going to work in your favor to just smile and be adorable. She can also be a bit of a worrier (my apologies again), so if you can do your best not to cause her any anxiety ever . . . okay, never mind. She’ll worry anyway. It’s a Mom thing. But seriously, do your mom a favor and come out soon, Baby E, because she’s really anxious to meet you!
Your Uncle and Aunt – what can we say about these two? Well, for starters, the first wedding you attend (more than likely), will be theirs!! How cool is that going to be?! You’ll get to be all dressed up fancy and hopefully be on your best behavior, but you’ll only be just over a year old, so even if you throw a fit, nobody will care. (But listen, you can only get away with that for a few months okay?). So these are two of the people that will spoil you rotten. Of course Papa and I will too, but we’ll see you more so we probably have to throw in a bit of discipline now and then. These guys are going sing you songs, (they might even write you one because they’re pretty talented in that arena), you should be very musically inclined as you will have it from both sides of your family. They will take you fun places (all the rides your parents say no to) and give you all the ice cream you want. Just don’t throw up in their car. Your uncle might try to tell you inappropriate jokes from time to time. Just ignore him. They are full of light and love and laughter, and you’re going to have so much fun getting to know them. They are really good at lots of stuff, really fun to be around, and they are going to love you to the moon and back.
Your Papa – I’m probably a little biased, since I am still crazy in love with the man after 30 plus years, but I think your Papa is the best. He’s got this amazing smile, and the biggest, craziest laugh, it might startle you at the beginning, but you’ll get used to it, and I bet it’s going to be one of the things that makes YOU laugh! Your Papa just LOVES. And I mean loves . . . he sees the good in everyone, puts the rest of us to shame, really, so learn from him. Your Papa loves taking care of people. He learned that from his dad, your Great-Papa. You won’t get to meet him, but he was an amazing man, and he would have loved you to bits. He took care of people as a pastor, and your Papa loves taking care of kids. He’s very smart and knows how to make sick kids all better. That’s pretty cool, huh? Papa has a great sense of humor (are you sensing a theme here?), he loves to play guitar and worship Jesus, you want to see him bouncing up on that stage some day, he’s crazy passionate about it and it is awesome! Papa will do anything for anyone. Papa loves his family like we’re the best thing on earth, which to him we are. His dream vacation is to get us all together and just hang out. And we like to do that a lot, so I hope you’ll learn to love those times just as much as we do. If you ever have a problem, Papa is a great listener. He may not always be able to fix the problem right away or even at all, but he will always listen and he will pray for you, and sometimes that’s better than a quick fix anyway. Oh, and he gives the best hugs. And makes the best silly voices. You’re going to love him. He already loves you more than you can imagine.
Baby E, you’re so lucky to be coming into a big family! You have family in Bermuda and Canada and America and Northern Ireland and the Netherlands even!! You have great-grandparents, and grandparents, and uncles and aunts and great uncles and great aunts and second cousins who are all anxiously awaiting your arrival! I love that you are so so loved by so many people already. My family was pretty small and I lived far away from all my relatives, but you have more relatives than I can list on one hand!!
Since I’ll probably be one of the first people you meet after your mom and dad, I just wanted to say all this now, because there’s going to be some dust in the room that day and I might not be able to say too much at first. By the way, you should know that about me. I’m much more comfortable with the written word than the spoken ones. But that’s just me. I’m kind of an introvert, (like you’re being right now,) I prefer to be with a small group of friends or family, and sometimes I don’t say a whole lot. But I promise to always talk to you. To always listen, speak when you need me to and stay quiet when you don’t. I will always be there for you, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.
And I have a feeling you’re stepping into greatness, Baby E. Because you can be whatever you want. Do all the things. Don’t be afraid. Respect your fears but don’t let them control you. Be brave. Sometimes that’s hard and maybe you might think it impossible, but trust me. You come from brave people. You can conquer anything.
Read lots. Books are your friends. Love fiercely and then some. Laugh long into the night. Be a light. See the world for what it is and not what you think it should be, and love it anyway. Love Jesus with all your heart. You’ll need Him more than you know.
Love your crazy amazing family as much as we love you, we’re not perfect, but you won’t be either. But we’ll tell everyone you are. Over and over again. 🙂
Pray lots, for us and for others, and your heart will grow. Mostly, just enjoy every day, every new discovery, and every chance to do it all over again with the sunrise.
You are about to embark on the greatest adventure ever. The greatest gift God ever gave us.
And I can’t wait to see what you do with it.
I already love you all around the earth and all the planets and back again times a million.