Dear Baby Girl,

In exactly three months you are scheduled to make your grand entrance into this world, although the actual timing of that event is more up to you than any doctor’s calculations.  I’m scared and excited all at the same time.  I can’t wait to meet you, to hold you, to see you snuggled in your father’s arms.

Last night we went to our first childbirth class and watched a video of a woman going through labor and giving birth.  I cried.  I don’t think that was the intent of the movie, but it moved me.  Somebody once said that parenting is deciding to allow your heart to walk around outside of your body.  That’s probably the closest to how I felt watching that movie.  Like it would be my heart, right there in my arms; tangible and real and fragile.

There is so much that I hope for you.  I hope you will learn to think for yourself rather than just parroting the views and opinions others.  I hope you will understand and value the difference between fact and opinion.  I hope you will learn to process information and to see through the hype and sensationalism that is so prevalent in our world.  I hope you will understand the love trumps hate, no matter what, even if the haters claim to be representing God.  I hope you will learn that you are responsible for your own happiness and that you can’t just sit around feeling sorry for yourself and waiting for happiness to land on your doorstep.  You have to get out there.  You have to make friends and go to them rather than waiting for them to magically materialize. I hope you realize that feeling sorry for yourself only makes you feel more sorry for yourself. I hope you learn to value people for their differences rather than trying to change them to be more like you.  I hope you learn to value yourself, and at a much younger age than I did.  I’m still learning that lesson.  I hope you learn the difference between having an understanding of where you stand with others, and worrying about what they think of you.  Don’t worry about what they think of you.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind.

That quote came from Dr. Seuss, an author with whom you will become very familiar.  It’s a short quote with a very big idea.  One that I still have trouble dealing with because the truth is, sometimes the people that matter do mind.  Sometimes the people who mind are are people you love, and it hurts when they love you for who they want you to be instead of loving you for who you are.  I’m going to make a promise right now.  I’m going to love you for who you are, whoever that turns out to be.



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Read more Letters to Gem.

Judy Schwartz Haley


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