8 More Weeks: A Father’s Letter to his Newborn

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When your mother and I were training for a marathon — yes, your parents once completed a marathon — 8 weeks seemed like forever. That’s two full months, plenty of time to train and prepare. But as your mother and I move into our final 8 weeks waiting for your arrival, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to prepare for you.

Do you know how much you are on our mind? We haven’t even met yet although I can tell you that you respond to food with joyful kicks — you get that from me. And you like to gently kick around 9 or 10pm, but not when I’m touching your mother’s belly. Will you be shy?

Do you know how much we think about you? Our calendar is filled with doctor visits, Confident Childbirthing and Breastfeeding classes, hospital and even daycare tours. When we aren’t investing these hours learning about you we are spending the other hours preparing for you. Your nursery is ready; we selected a jungle theme because we didn’t want it to be too gender-specific. That may sound weird now but once you get to know us it will make more sense. Figuring things out on your own and sharing experiences with others is kinda the whole fun part of life for us. Will you be as curious as us?

But really, we started “nesting” and preparing for you several years ago by buying a house — the house you will probably grow-up in. We even started a college savings fund for you, something that will take nearly two decades for you to appreciate. We just finished a house project in which we built our bedroom; your nursery is our old bedroom. So before you start complaining about how small it is realize that we had half the closet space and double the people in there, sometimes with upwards of three dogs, too!

Do you know how nervous we are? We have been forewarned about the changes that will be required in our lives when you decide to make your grand entrance. We currently enjoy our evenings together making meals — we are trying this pescatarian thing right now. Or we walk the dogs; every once and awhile we enjoy a show or movie on the TV. Your mom plays in a community orchestra and I’m currently taking improv classes. We understand that a lot of this will have to change as we focus our attention and energy on you.

Speaking of the pups, how well will you get along with your fur-siblings — Paprika and Watauga? Those are the two puppies in the photo in your room. Paprika is the one with the really soft velvety fur you will love to pet and Watauga is the one that will stand, well, lay guard with you all day and night long. We have so many adventures planned for you all. Will you remember them?

Do you know how scared we are?

We are told we shouldn’t be — your mother is as healthy as can be and you are the pinnacle of normalcy when it comes to prenatal tests! Let’s agree and not be so normal later when it comes to other tests, OK?

Besides, worrying now won’t change what has already been set in motion. We’ve done nearly all our homework; we are ready for this next challenge — “the hay is in the barn.”

See you in 8 short weeks.

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