Dear… umm… Baby (I guess),
Well, that was an awkward start.
I wasn’t quite sure what to write there, as I’m sure you could tell. We have names picked out for you but we’re saving them for when we actually get to meet you. It also would have been just as awkward for me to write Dear Boy Name/Girl Name. I even considered writing Dear PTBNL, the acronym that Major League Baseball uses for a Player To Be Named Later, but it’s unwieldy and most people probably wouldn’t have recognized it right away anyway.1 In any event, I just went with Baby. That’s what you are, at this point anyway, so that’s what seems to fit the best.
I’m writing because there are a few things you should know before you actually are born. You’ll figure out most of the really important things on your own, like who I am, who your mother is and who your older brother, Eitan, is. We’ll be pretty easy to identify: your mom and I will be the ones holding you, feeding you, changing you and just taking care of you in general. Don’t worry if we look like zombies; we’re going to be a little short on sleep for a little while as we get used to having you around (and you get used to being around) but we know what we’re doing with you, for the most part. We went through it with your brother so we’ve already worked out a lot of the kinks. I know it took me some time to get the hang of changing diapers with your brother but I assume it’s like riding a bike – you never really forget. It may take me a time or five to refresh my memory but I’ll get there. And your mom was a pro from day one, so you’re in really good hands with her.
Eitan, as I mentioned, is your brother. He’ll be the much smaller person that you see on a regular basis. Most of the time he’s going to want to talk with you, play with you and help us with taking care of you. He’s a great kid; he loves having fun and helping others and he’s so excited to meet you. In fact, here’s what he told your mom just yesterday:
“Mommy, when the baby comes home, I’m going to sit on the rocker and you can put my lunch on the feet thing and then you can bring me the baby and I’ll hold her and I can rock her in the rocking chair.
It’s a girl. I know that.
I just wanted you to know that now.”
I don’t know if he’s right about you being a girl, but I do know he can’t wait for you to join our family. He may have some trouble here and there because your mom and I can’t give him 100% of our attention anymore, but you don’t have to worry abou that; he’ll figure things out.
The attention thing is actually the biggest reason why I wanted to write to you. I haven’t had many opportunities to really connect with you so far. Before Eitan was born, your mom and I could lie in bed on Saturday mornings and we could talk to him while he was in your mom’s belly. We played music for him, told him about our plans for him and talked about what we thought he would grow up to be.2
And with you, I haven’t quite felt the same connection.
A big reason is that I’m working so often so that your mom can stay home with you and your brother, so I’m not around to be able to take a minute and talk to you. But I want you to know that I’ll be taking some time off after you are born so you and I can get to know each other a bit. Research shows that spending time together after a child’s birth is just as important for the parents than for the baby, which is something I didn’t take enough advantage of when Eitan was born. I won’t be making that mistake again. I know my time will be split between you and Eitan but I want you to know that I’m going to try my absolute hardest to build as strong a relationship with you as I’ve built with Eitan.
I’m not perfect, by any means. I’m going to make mistakes at times and there will be points where you’re going to think to yourself, “Ugh, how did I get stuck with this guy?” But whenever that happens, I just want you to remember that, no matter how I mess up, I’m doing my best and I’ll figure things out. Your mom and your brother have been fantastic teachers for me and I’m sure you’re going to follow right in their footsteps.
The most important thing is that I’m always going to do my best to protect you, care for you and love you. I can’t wait to teach you all of the things I’ve learned about relationships, sports and life, in general, and I can’t wait to learn new lessons from you as we grow together. I know I’m biased, but I’m pretty confident in saying that you’re coming into a great family.
We can’t wait to meet you.