editor’s note :: i’m taking a break this month to work on a new manuscript. some of my closest friends have agreed to fill this space in my absence with their thoughts on bravery and what it means for our faith. you can read the rest of the posts here. today, erin beth shares her words. To the sweet baby boy who, according to Baby Center, grew eyebrows this week,
When I received the automated email listing your general achievements this week, I was mesmerized. You are truly incredible. I have imagined your sweet nose, paper-thin fingernails and toes- tiny and delicate. I have imagined a full head of soft black tucked under the little cotton caps every newborn comes home in. I’ve heard your quick tiny breath in the night while I’ve searched for sleep. I’ve even imagined all the different young men you may grow into, what you may want to do with your life and what it be like if you have children of your own. My brain should really get a raise for all this work it's doing.
This week’s email said that you are just less than one pound, the length of an average carrot and have fully grown eyebrows and eyelids. I immediately prayed that you would have fabulous eyebrows and love carrots. I bet all waiting mothers end up here- praying that their babies have nice eyebrows. Because every second of every day, we have been praying for everything else under the sun for you.
Today, I also prayed God would make you extra brave; that you’d be brave enough to bare the weight of things far greater than you. You see, I cannot protect you. No matter how much the mom-fire burns in my belly there’s nothing I can do to make sure you are okay. Nothing. And sometimes, I'm quite sure it’s killing me. This is so much to ask of you at only twenty-two weeks old, but if ever there was a time to be brave- this is it. And we will be here to love you even if the sky falls in. I promise.
Sweet boy, I already owe you an apology. I have made these last few weeks about me, especially the last few days. Instead of praying for you I’ve been running between anxiety and total self-pity, with my face buried in a pillow hidden under the covers or sitting until my backside numbs on the cold tile of the bathroom floor. Yesterday, I slept on the couch because my cozy bed felt wrong without you here.
I’m scared. Because the sliver of possibility that you won't come home with us after all, stared me in the face this week. As the fear overwhelmed, I became obsessed with my own comfort. I am so sorry. (Even though by now it’s obvious, I should tell you that I’m not perfect and these won’t be my last mistakes).
I’m not sure if bargaining is an acceptable parenting method, and you're not my boy yet, but we need to make a deal. I promise you, the pity parties are over and I need you to stay-put and grow strong for at least another twelve weeks.
You are strong enough for this. I just know it.
With all the love in the world,
A waiting mom. Hopefully yours.
BIO: I began my life at my grandmother's house in West Texas, riding horses and searching for arrow heads. After surviving adolescence, I carved out a life in Austin where I married a photographer, gave-up on writing and recently started writing again. You can find more at A Peculiar Love, where I write about our adoption journey and at Find Me In September where I write when I'm feeling brave.