The days are ticking by slowly and at the speed of light all at once lately. I hit the 35 week mark with our twin boys yesterday and we’re more than aware they could decide to arrive anytime between now and early March. It’s a weird place of limbo… feeling all the anticipation and excitement, while also trying to enjoy each remaining day we have together just the two of us (plus Chloe, of course). It may be this period of limbo… or the hormones… but lately – I’ve been feeling so emotional and so nostalgic. (Let’s just say that the prospect of writing this post and the thoughts I was forming internally set me into a full on sob-fest before I was even able to sit down and start typing.)
James and I have been having so many conversations about life and love and parenting… trying to wrap our heads around all of it. For the majority of this pregnancy we both avoided thinking too far ahead. We didn’t talk about what the boys might look like, or ever speak in certain terms that they would be here with us eventually. After six years of battling infertility and our miscarriage last spring, we really took this entire pregnancy day by day. We mentally checked off each day on our way to the next milestone… and to be honest, we still are… even this far along. (And I feel like we will be doing this for the rest of their lives I suppose, huh? Does the fear of the other shoe dropping ever go away?) James was especially hesitant to dream or plan or look too far ahead… but now that we really are so very close to meeting these little guys (God willing – as James insists on finishing each sentence about the boys with)… we have been having more of these conversations.
James has been opening up more and more about his thoughts on so many things that have been keeping him up at night. (The man seriously hasn’t been sleeping well for months now because he obsessively thinks about being a good dad and raising our boys.) I joked after a conversation with him recently that it must be exhausting being him and living inside his head all the time! haha. Seriously though – he never stops thinking about how he can be a better person and what he wants to teach our children. He is constantly hyper aware of his actions and relationships with others – and this new step in our lives has set that part of him into hyperdrive… and more than ever he is doing everything in his power to constantly be a better version of himself.
All of our conversations leave me wanting to say things to him that I can’t quite seem to put into words at the time… so I felt like writing him a letter here would be the best way to get this off my chest. And so here it is… a letter to my love before he becomes “Dad.”
First of all – take a deep breath, my love… I know it has been a long ride and an especially difficult year for you.
As we sit on the edge of this new adventure in our lives together – I can’t help but look back at how far we’ve come. I know you feel like you need to analyze everything right now and prepare to be the best dad ever … but you really shouldn’t worry so much, because I knew from the moment I met you (well, okay, maybe a week or so later) that you were going to be the best dad someday, and that whoever you had children with would be one lucky person. (You see, I didn’t know back then that lucky person would be me.)
When I came to your apartment for our first official date night and saw the way you loved your dog, Phoenix, as if she were your equal and your best friend… I could only imagine the kind of love you could have for me someday – and on top of that… the kind of love you could have for your own children someday.
So many things I’ve seen in you over the years have told me time and time again that this is the moment in life you were made for… to be a Dad. And as we struggled through years of trying to build our family – I went from wishing so badly that I could be a mother… to just wanting so badly for you to be a dad. I knew that all the things you’ve been through in life were not in vain. I knew God was pruning you for something bigger, and I truly believe that something bigger is this.
From a troubled kid that was raised by a single mom… through all you’ve gone through to get to this point… you have so much knowledge and experience to share with our boys. Looking back – it makes perfect sense that we’re having two boys – so you can help them grow into the strong young men they are certainly meant to be. So that you can be the father to them that you didn’t have yourself.
Actions speak louder than words… especially when children are watching you as they grow. So I know that no matter what you say or teach them – what the boys will remember most is what they saw in their father. And because of that – I know they will be amazing young men, simply by witnessing the kind of man you are.
They will see someone who is immensely loyal, protective, and gives 110% to those they love.
They will witness someone who isn’t afraid to be honest and open, and who is humble enough to never be afraid after a disagreement or discussion to come back (after most certainly overanalyzing the conversation in your head hours or even days) to apologize if you realized you were in the wrong.
They will see someone who loves their mom fiercely – and they will learn to respect and cherish women as equals because of the way you treat not only me, but all the women in your life. They’ll see that men can cook, grocery shop, clean, and do laundry just as well as they can work in the yard, or on the car… gender stereotypes be damned.
They will witness a man who loves animals (especially dogs) and learn to value all souls on this earth, human or not.
They will see someone who never takes life too seriously, and who thinks every day is the perfect day to act like a big kid and keep those around you (and yourself) laughing through all the ups and downs in life.
They will not stand by the wayside when others are being treated unjustly. They will know that all people were created equal and to treat all those they encounter in life as such – because they will witness you doing that very thing every single day.
They will understand the value of an education and that it is never too late to follow your dreams, as they witness you continue to finish your degree over the years – not just for the credits or the diploma – but because you love to learn and expand your horizons.
They will see someone who has an unbelievable work ethic, and will know that anything they want to achieve in life they can – if they put in the time and effort and work hard for it.
They will know they are incredibly blessed for each day on this earth and for all the opportunities they will have, because they will witness you never taking one minute or person in your life for granted.
All of these things they will learn from you without you ever needing to say a word. All of these lessons they will absorb simply by spending time with their dad. I know you are consciously analyzing every part of your being and your life right now as you prepare to welcome our boys home in a few short weeks… but please know that you don’t need to worry so much. I am certain that if you just continue being the amazing man you are day in and day out – they will turn out more than just fine… they will be wonderful, respectful, humble, confident, and hardworking young men.
And when they are old and grown with children of their own – and we are both gone… they will miss you something fiercely, but you will live on. Because they will be made up of all those beautiful parts of you. They will be so proud of those pieces inside of themselves and so grateful that you were theirs to call “Dad.”
(Photos by Britta Marie Photography)