“I was 19 when I got pregnant with my first son.
So I’m writing this today, to tell you that if you ever have your child come to you and tell you that they’re pregnant, and they’re going to have a baby, they’re going to be a parent… and you know they are scared and full of emotions that they can’t even identify yet, remember to tell them about the love.
They know they have ‘options.’ They know that ‘babies are expensive.’ They know it’s ‘a lot of responsibility.’ They know it can be ‘strenuous on a relationship’ and ‘so much work.’
If you have to remind them of these things, do. Do what you have to do…
But don’t forget to tell them about the love.
About the fluttery feeling of the first kicks, about the musical sound of a baby’s heartbeat. About the moment you lay eyes on your baby’s face after the nine months of waiting — a surprise but also a familiarity. About the deep inhale you can’t resist taking when you hold your sleeping baby.
Don’t forget to tell them that ‘mama’ becomes a magical word the first time your baby says it. That first haircuts feel sad sometimes, those baby locks fall to the floor and suddenly your baby looks older. Don’t forget to tell them that a baby’s laugh is contagious, and it’s okay that they will feel inclined to make ridiculous faces and noises just to experience the pleasure of hearing that bubbly laugh.
Don’t forget to tell them about the milestones…the bittersweet milestones. Each one a new beginning, a first, exciting and joyous, but also a reminder of what’s come and gone.
About the way sunlight hits a child’s hair, sometimes, almost in a halo, you breathe in and want to ingrain the image in your mind.
Don’t forget to tell them that they’ll taste-test puréed baby food. Even when it’s weird colors and smells, they’ll feel the urge to crinkle up their nose, and squint their eyes and take a small taste before deciding it’s okay for the baby to try.
Tell them about the slobbery kisses that babies give when they first start giving kisses.
Tell them that they will see the world differently, that they will sing lullabies and kiss cheeks and that they never thought watching someone sleep could be fascinating and beautiful but when it’s your baby, suddenly it is.
Tell them that sometimes babies smile in their sleep. Tell them about how they will think, ‘I wonder what you’re dreaming…?’
Tell them that they will acquire a new understanding of the word ‘tired’…and of the word ‘love.’
Tell them about the love. The overwhelming, wholehearted, helpless, deep, endless, limitless, incredible love.
This little boy changed my life.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Ashtyn, 26, of Oregon.
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