An open letter to the children that I never wanted.
Dear Lillian and Levi,
I never wanted kids. The ideas of sleepless nights and wiping butts, mashed potatoes smeared on the walls and toddler tantrums just didn’t add up to something I felt called to do. Don’t get me wrong — I like kids. Other people’s kids. For a short amount of time. When I was a teenager, I would babysit because kids seemed to like me. I guess I liked them when I was younger. But as I got older, the idea of being a mother didn’t resonate with me. It wasn’t even that I wanted to be some high-powered career woman.
Then, one afternoon, after throwing up for the last half of a vacation with Daddy, I took a pregnancy test “just to rule out” the possibility that I was pregnant.
Those two pink lines changed my life forever.
When your Dad came home that night from work, I said, “So I have some good news and bad news. Which do you want first?”
“…the good news…”
It turns out that’s not a good way to tell your husband you’re pregnant. I found out later he was freaked out about what the “bad news” was. Was it someone else’s kid? Was there something wrong with the baby? I was just going to give him the same answer regardless of his response. Lillian, don’t do what I did. Levi, if your wife does this to you, love her anyway. She has many other wonderful qualities, even if tact isn’t one of them.
Levi, your story is a bit less dramatic. I was lying in bed when your sister was barely 3 months old, and something inside of me said, “Take a pregnancy test.” Sure enough — two more pink lines. You were born 10 days before your sister’s first birthday. I guess that is a bit dramatic. At least it was for my poor woman parts.
I want to strive to be honest with both of you, regardless of how awkward a conversation may be, which is why I’m telling you all this. I want you to know why your mum may appear to have more struggles than your friends’ mums. It’s because I started off on this journey without a map. Other mums had their courses plotted out. They had read books and held babies. I looked at babies from afar as though pregnancy was contagious. I wasn’t prepared for motherhood the way those who make plans to have children are. I was thrown into the deep end of the pool, and, let me tell you, parenthood is a very, very deep pool.
All that being said, I want you to know that you two are the fourth and fifth best things ever to happen to me. The list goes like this: