Letter, Part 2

Dear Thumper,

So it’s been just you and me hanging out here for the last 37 weeks. I have to say that once we got out of the first trimester, it’s been mostly smooth sailing. In the last three weeks you and I have been experiencing lots of contractions, which yesterday I finally tied to the drops and rises in barometric pressure. It falls, we contract. It rises, we stop. Today it poured rain but there were only a few halfhearted twinges. It’s almost as if you decided to be as blase about it as I’ve become; I enjoy imagining you saying in a tiny voice “Screw it, let’s just stay home and eat cookies this afternoon.”

Soon enough it will be time for you to make our twosome into three–your dad is correct, you are the one who will make our little couple a family. He will also be in charge of teaching you baseball statistics, as we cannot come to a detente on the proper way to eat an Oreo. Best that you learn from both of us and come to your own conclusions later in life. Try to remember that our philosophical approach to Oreo-eating will serve you well in all areas of your life.

At some point you may wonder why I picked your father, and the answer is simple: my life is better for having him in it. That’s what I hope for you to find in a partner. Whoever you pick will not be perfect. Your life with them will not be a fairy tale, and you will have bumps in the road. But if you’re like me with your dad, you will see that there isn’t a single aspect of your life that isn’t 1000% better for having your partner in it. That makes the bad stuff bearable and the good stuff spectacular. That’s what I have with your dad.

While I’m rambling, I’ve been thinking a lot about the trip to California that brought you to us. This will one day embarass the hell out of you, but I can’t go without mentioning it. The day you were conceived, we visited Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, which has an indoor and outdoor labyrinth. While I don’t believe in a Judeo-Christian God per se, I do believe there are forces in the universe that operate at a different level than us that can touch and affect our lives. The idea of walking the labyrinth is that you meditate, releasing petty thoughts and quieting the mind, receive illumination at the center, and as you leave you walk with a higher power.

I walked the labyrinth with the idea of meditation in mind and eventually focused on two thoughts: we are ready for a child. Let this happen quickly, and let it be safe. Sure enough, the calendar tells us that my meditation was answered. If you learn nothing else from this story, let it be this: sometimes the higher powers try to get your attention in small ways, and sometimes they take you by the shoulders and shake you until your teeth knock together. The positive pregnancy test just two weeks later would qualify as the latter.

To bookend that experience, yesterday I went to the Kukaniloko birthstones. This is a sacred location on Oahu where for several hundred years, royal mothers would go to deliver their children to assure status and longevity for their chiefly sons (and daughters). It’s a holy location, tied directly to the earth and to childbirth. I walked the perimeter and sat next to the stones, quieting my mind as I did in the labyrinth. My only thought was “Whenever you’re ready to come out, your dad and I will see you home.” I stayed until it started to rain again.

The contractions have ramped up since then, but not in a way that indicates that it’s time to go to the hospital. That’s okay, little one. The world is a weird place, especially right now, and I get the hesitation. Take all the time you need.

Whenever you’re ready, Daddy and I will be there. And we’ll all go home together.