In this first letter I want to take some time to recount the day of your birth, or rather the events leading up to it. I learned some very important lessons that day, ones that I think will be valuable for years to come. So here it goes:
January 4th, 2018 1:05pm
I CANNOT imagine the pain that your mom is going through right now. I mean I can imagine, but I doubt it comes close to the real thing. I have always had a hard time with pain, at least other people’s pain. My own I can deal with. I’ve got strategies and meditations or sometimes the good ole addage of “fake it till ya make it” (I’m sure we will teach you that at some point). Somehow though, I don’t think faking it will do in this situation. You, my sweet, are on your way and we cannot ignore it. Although I wish so badly, I could reach out to your mom and absorb her pain. But alas, my time will come but I am certainly in no rush.
Anyways, the wind is whipping against the side of the house, rattling the windows. I stick just my head out of the house door, my feet bare, the dogs (who you’ll come to know and love) standing behind me, probably thinking I’m crazy for letting them out in this mess. I could sense the blizzard gaining strength and I knew then that today was the day. I was beyond excited to meet you and I know your parents were too. It all seemed a bit surreal, actually, after waiting nine months for something and then having it finally arrive? Well that’s something no one can ever truly prepare you for.
January 5th 12:51am
I am sitting on the couch in your house, wide awake, barely able to sit still really. Your mom and dad had left the house almost two hours ago and I was just waiting for my phone to buzz, telling me you had arrived safely. Just when I thought that text wouldn’t come until the morning or later that morning, off it went! I was bursting with bubbling excitement.
Finally, knowing you were safe and sound and so were your parents I could sleep, even if it was just for a few hours so that I could run and see you in the morning. And let me tell you, when I finally saw you, laying so peacefully in the hospital crib, my heart lit up, like it has only once before so far. Your little toes and and fingers curled beneath sleeves that were too long for you, you looked so content and that is when I realized these four things:
- The most important thing you can do when someone is in pain is to be present– the ENTIRE day before you were born, your momma was in quite the bit of pain. I felt helpless for a while. I have never been good with other people’s pain. My own I can deal with but when it comes to others? Well I just wished so badly that I could absorb your mom’s pain every time I held her hand. But then it hit me, we all feel pain and you can’t absorb someone’s else’s. It’s not fair really, but what is love without pain? This world is one of opposites, of ying and yang, and finding balance. If your mom hadn’t felt the pain of you being born would she have the same intense feeling of love when you were finally here? I’m not sure and we won’t ever know. But what I do know is that when someone is in pain, the most important thing you can do is BE THERE. Be present, you can’t take their pain away but you can soften the blow, show them that you care and that you are there because everything seems a little less terrible when you’re together.
- No one way is the right way and you MUST accept that– Honestly, I was freaking out a little bit the day before you were born. It was just your mother and me, laying around the house as the contractions came and went and in between each one I was researching furiously, “when should you go to the hospital?” “Should you lay down or walk around?” “How can you tell real contractions a part from false ones?” If you haven’t already, you’ll learn one thing about me, I like to be prepared, no surprises. So you can imagine my frustration when EVERY SINGLE THING I READ HAD A DIFFERENT ANSWER. I couldn’t believe it! Even the doctor, who I called about ten times that day, couldn’t give me a straight answer. This frustration obviously led me to realize that there is rarely ever one right way to do something and I had to just accept that, sometimes being unprepared is the best way to learn. The moment you accept the unexpected, Lizzi, is the moment you’ll release a whole lot of pent up anxiety. (I’m still working on this by the way)
- Love can be the simplest thing in the world, if you don’t let it scare you- Love is simple…what? That statement is pretty much contrary to what you’ll hear and read in every movie and book that has two characters fall in love. But trust me, it’s true. I am no expert on love, believe me, but what I’ve come to realize over the years and especially the day you were born was that love is such a natural feeling. If you took away all of the thoughts that analyzed people, places, and words, if you stripped away the external factors that influence your decisions to love or not love someone, if you took away the fear of loss, pain, and disappointment, what you are left with is the simple notion of caring more about the other person’s happiness more than your own, it’s the simple desire to see them thrive, and it is also the simple fact of loving yourself enough, of knowing that together the two of you make the world a better place. The moment I saw you, I could have immediately thought about how terrible the world seems right now, how worried I am about the first time you’ll get your heartbroken but I didn’t. I saw you, saw your mom and dad smiling with pride and knew that none of the worry and pain mattered. We would always worry and we will always feel pain, but if we kept loving, continuing to be vulnerable, life would be worth it, and maybe one day this terrible world we see in the media every day would change.
- When you do get scared, which is totally okay, don’t let it get the best of you- And lastly, you taught me that day that it was okay to be scared, scared of pain, of disappointment, scared of life. Fear was inevitable, just as love is a natural feeling so is fear. If we had no fear that would mean we had nothing to loose, and having nothing to loose means having nothing to love. And on our darkest days some of us might believe we have nothing to love or love us, but in reality there is always something or someone because we are all connected. So when facing fear, look it straight in the face, acknowledge its presence, then say F*** you and show it all the love you have. Don’t let fear be the basis for the decisions you make because fear as a funny way of being irrational and producing irrational decisions. Instead let love be your guide, love is simple remember, fear is not. Fear is filled with too many thoughts, and anxieties that are overanalyzed. Love is filled with smiles, and laughter, and care.
So my Lizzi Lynn, don’t let fear get the best parts of you, that’s love’s job.
Your Auntie Carli