Currently you are tap-dancing on my bladder but in less than four weeks, your father and I will meet you face to face and hold you in our arms. Your father and I decided on your name almost 14 years ago. Your father and I were high school sweethearts and we talked about how if we ever had children that we would name our son after my grandfather. You see, you were in our dreams, our thoughts, and our prayers long before we were married or even old enough to vote. And now as we count down the days until we meet you, we couldn’t be more excited to hold you for the first time and tell you how much we love you. We want you to have the best experience that life has to offer, but we know that life can disappoint and hurt you sometimes, so here are a few things to always remember:
- It’s okay to not be okay: You don’t have to be the best at everything you do, in fact sometimes the only way we learn anything in this messy world is when we make a few mistakes. So know that it is okay to NOT be okay. These are the times where we hug a little tighter, cry a little harder and you may see mommy drinking a little more wine…but that’s okay because we are a family and we WILL get through anything that life brings us.
- Be silly and laugh often: One day, you will have a mortgage, medical bills and a family of your own, but until then – enjoy life and be silly! Your father is better at this than I am, just ask him about his award-winning hula dance and coconut brassiere.
- Love unconditionally: Love is not a noun but a verb, you have to make it work and work hard at it. Your father and I have experienced moments when it was very hard to love one another but we worked through it and tried our best to put our relationship first before our own individual needs. You will get grossed out when your dad kisses me or when I pinch your dad’s cute toosh, but just know that we love each other unconditionally, and we will do the same for you, no matter what.
- Fight for what you love: You will see that your father and I don’t always get along and have had times where we wanted to throw in the towel, but we never gave up and we ask you to do the same. Fight for what you love and for who you love. This might mean doing things that you wouldn’t necessarily do on your own, like when I go hunting with your dad or when he goes antiquing with me. I will do the same for you and you will get dragged into antiquing with me.
- Respect yourself and others: Your father fought in Iraq for our country and your great grandfathers fought in the Vietnam War and Korean War. Each of these honorable men made a sacrifice to fight for a larger cause other than themselves. They fought for the freedom we have today, so we ask that you always respect yourself and respect those around you. This means that you should always look people in the eye when speaking to them, open doors for women and always stand up and shake hands when being introduced.
- Talk to us: Your father and I were 15 once and made some pretty stupid decisions, so it is okay to talk to us. We have most likely been there, done that. I know that sometimes you will only want to talk to your father but know that I am here, and I will do my best to provide a listening ear.
- Take risks: Sometimes life requires us to be bold and take risks. Sometimes this means moving to a 198-square-foot apartment in a city where you don’t know anyone (just make sure to call mom) and sometimes this means applying for a job that you don’t think you have any chance of getting. Sometimes the juice is worth the squeeze….so squeeze away my son.
- Keep your head down and your eyes up: Your father and I spent a lot of our life running from God and never quite feeling whole. When we finally stopped running, we realized that the most important lesson in life is to stay humble and keep our eyes focused on our faith. This is the most important lesson of all. We will screw up and we will not be the perfect parents, but we promise to do our best to be humble, love God, love each other and love you with all our hearts.
I can’t promise that life will be easy but I do promise that we will love you and stand by you no matter what. We promise to teach you what we have learned along the way, but I am confident that you will teach us more than we could ever teach you.
"I wanted you more than you ever will know, so I sent love to follow wherever you go." – Nancy Tillman
Momma and Daddy
by Sarah Kershner, It's Your Game Project Coordinator, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy