Dear Atticus, here is the world

Old Globe

Old Globe by ToastyKen, shared under a Creative Commons license.

Dear Atticus,

Today is the last day of November, so . . . we did it! Except for the part where we still have labor and delivery and sleepless nights and the terrible twos and starting school and soccer games and piano lessons and eye rolling and the teenage years and teaching you to drive and college applications and, oh, let’s face it, I will be your mom from here on out, so we haven’t actually finished much of anything by writing these letters. I will be your mom even if you have a family of your own someday. I am not going to climb in your window and tell you how much I love you forever, because that’s creepy. But it’s true.

I decided to write these letters mostly because “letters to the baby” was the one big thing that was left unchecked on my summer to-do list, written before we knew “the baby” would be our boy. We handled “rug” and “crib” and “curtains” and even “registry,” but there were no letters. I was not sure what I wanted to say to the person living inside me, making me feel so nauseated and tired. But I hate leaving things unchecked, so it was like a dare to myself, the challenge of 30 days of bravely saying, This is the family and space we have created for you. We have done our best to prepare. Now we are just about ready for you to come and explore who you can be. I have spent the past month saying those things even as I am afraid to hope for wonderful things for you. I quoted him at the beginning of this year (which was full of beautiful and terrible things), but Buechner’s thoughts on this matter are worth repeating:

The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you. There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too. -Frederick Buechner

This month, I have been trying to say: We think our lives were not complete without you. We can’t protect you from all the pain of this world, but we are here to love and teach and help you through it. We are now a team, a family of three. Being able to say yes to you is one of the greatest gifts I have ever experienced.

When your dad and I got married, we chose to have the following verses read at our wedding:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. -Colossians 3:12-14

Those are verses that we have built our family around, these ideas of forgiveness and love and humility. You are part of our family now, too. You will have to forgive us and bear with us at times (especially when you are an eye-rolling teenager), but in return we hope you will know that, as one of our family, you have been chosen and are dearly loved.


P.S. Please note that you have been issued your own eviction notice. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love you. I am both eager to meet you and desperately in need of my ribcage back.

This is the last day to enter to win the Atticus-themed mix CD. In case you are into that sort of thing.

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