Today was the fist day I allowed myself to imagine what you’re going to be like. While your Momma napped on the couch I came into your nursery with sunlight streaming onto the slate blue walls and ran my hands across the curves of your crib. My fingertips felt every grain for imperfections and I wondered what it’ll look like when you’re in there, staring back at me. I shook it a little to see if it fell to pieces. I pressed my face against it. I rubbed my boogers on it before you ever got the chance.
For these first three months since we found out you were joining us, I’ve been in preparation mode. Whether that means working extra hard, learning everything I can or making sure to absorb what other kids are doing when we’re around them, everything me and Momma have been doing has been to get ready for you. On Friday I recorded a radio interview while I built your crib. Don’t let Momma tell you I can’t multi-task.
I never thought about what you’ll be like, though. That doesn’t seem to make much sense because you’re just going to be yourself, anyway, so anything I can imagine is irrelevant. I have a feeling you’ll be like Momma and do what you want, when you want. So I don’t imagine. I wonder a lot, though. I wonder what you’ll look like and what you’ll be interested in and what will excite you. What will scare you, what will motivate you and what you’ll say. I don’t want to predict. But I do want to know.
When your crib was all done, me and Momma took the boxes and made a maze for your big sister Winnie. It had obstacles and tunnels and secret passageways and all kinds of stuff that I want to believe guinea pigs like. Winnie was scared, probably because it was all new, and tip-toed through it inch by inch with her long nails scattering across the cardboard. Eventually she grew curious, and then confident. She squeezed through tight spaces and leapt over treacherous barriers and me and Momma cheered her on and laughed and laughed. We tried to tell Winnie where to go and what to do but in the end it was all up to her, and that was fine.
I don’t know what you’re going to be like and who you’re going to become because that’s not up to me. Or your Momma (subject to change) or anybody else. You may not know either, at first, and that’s ok because with every dark tunnel and impossible hurdle you’ll know a little more and a little more. And me and Momma will be here to cheer you on at every turn, maybe giving you a little boost when you need it and helping you rebuild when you knock something down.
Your nursery is really starting to come together. A lot of people came over to help it get ready because they’re excited to meet you and get to know you, too. There are no jagged edges on the big, sturdy, walnut-stained crib under the window so it will be just fine. Laying you down in it will be one of the most memorable moments of my life – I know that for sure. I don’t have to imagine. I don’t have to wonder.