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Dear LuLu Bell Badabada Boom Bang,
I don’t want to freak you out, but our souls are bonded together forever.
You’re stuck with me. I’m stuck with you.
But you’re an independent person placed here on earth with a job to do completely separate from me. I don’t like this very much. It means there could be times we are estranged, if you need elbow room to make your own mistakes. Maybe you’ll need to go to Europe to find yourself and you’ll call once a month with a weird tone. Maybe you’ll marry a man named Snake with a teardrop tattooed on his face. I’m getting pissed just thinking about it.
I want to protect you with a hyper-vigilance that will surely be my downfall. Pain and owies. Colds and illness. Bullies. Social media. All of the Internet. Heartbreak. Middle school. I want to protect you from chubbiness and mean kids, even though I know mean kids and chubbiness is what helped to develop my sense of humor. Hidden hurts often inspired me to write. Growth requires pain. Greatness requires overcoming. I want to protect you from obstacles, but I know you need them.
I won’t hover like a helicopter even if you beg me too. You need experiences. Courage. Independence and confidence. Even though my love wants to put you in a bubble, I won’t, I promise. You might get mad at me, but we can take it. We’re stuck together, remember? Thems the breaks, kid.
Let me share some bad news. You have your daddy’s cowlicks. All of them. You’re going to struggle with your bangs. Destiny has already decided you’ll have to part your hair on the right. First life lesson: life isn’t fair.
A couple more life lessons:
People who respect their elders reap unexpected blessings. If you need kindness, be kind. Feed someone who’s hungry. There isn’t enough time to obsess about your weight. If you love someone, tell them often. Call your mom every day. Don’t judge people who give life lessons, but don’t live by most of them.
Because you won’t remember, I’ve written many things down. Like I how I obsessively watch your breathing, the precious swoop of your nose, the soft flutter of your eyelashes, the length of your fingers, the curve of your cheeks. I soak in all the little details of you. I promise I won’t do that when you’re a teenager (I reserve the right to change my mind).
My Lucy, no matter where you go, we will always be tied together with an invisible yet powerful string. You are deeply and unconditionally loved. Let it be the foundation that gives you the confidence to live your life joyfully with purpose. And to stay away from Snake.
With a crazy love that makes me nuts inside,
My oldest, Lucy, turns 4 in a little over a week. I had dreamt of having a Lucy of my own since I was little (I decided to name her after Lucille Ball when I was 8 or so). I had three miscarriages before her, and began to fear maybe she’d never come true. She did.
As her birthday approaches, I started to scrounge up letters I wrote to her while she slept next to me. This is an excerpt from one of them. A larger post was published on Babble, here.