Today, I should be 38 weeks pregnant with you. If you were anything like your brothers, your incessant kicking would be driving me crazy at this point. I would be whining to your dad about how much I was over being pregnant—even though I secretly love it. He knows it too, so he would just laugh and remind me that I asked for this.
You see, ever since your daddy and I were mature enough to have conversations about our future lives together (we met when we were naïve little high school kids), we knew we wanted you. We’ve always wanted to have a house full of boys, with at least one little girl thrown in there somewhere.
I’ll admit that I was surprised to find out you were going to be a boy. My pregnancy with you was completely different than my first two with your brothers. Your brothers’ were a breeze. Yours was my difficult one. You had me sick as a dog for the first three months—to the point where I wouldn’t even leave the house without making sure I packed a barf bag. And the one time I forgot to pack one, I had to throw up into a diaper while I was in the car… super clutch thinking on my part. Your dad was impressed! So when the ultrasound tech pointed out the unmistakable little nub on the screen, I about fell off the table. I was so sure you were going to be a girl.
Once the shock wore off, and I had resigned myself to the fact that pink was not going to be in my future any time soon, I got really excited to meet you. I dreamed about taking you to the river this coming summer. You would be a sweet little nine-week old babe when it gets warm enough to start taking the boat out for beautiful South Carolina spring afternoons. I would wear you close to me in the Baby Bjorn, but we would still have a baby life jacket for you, just in case. Your brothers would splash around in the shallows with your dad; and I would snuggle you on the sandbar, letting your olive skin soak up the warm sun—I would be jealous because I’m sure you would already be tanner than me, thanks to your daddy’s hallowed Greek genetics.
I dreamed of teaching you to love the outdoors, especially climbing trees and swimming. You wouldn’t be afraid to get dirty—and that’s something that you’d get from your momma. You’d probably be little, but you would be brave. And I know your personality would be huge. Your dad and I would teach you to be kind, respectful, and humble; though I’m sure at times, you would be bull-headed (something else that comes from me). Your grandparents would laugh and remind me “the apple doesn’t fall far.” Speaking of grandparents—you’d be lucky enough to grow up with all of yours alive and nearby, a blessing that we’d make sure you understood and appreciated.
I dreamed of the relationships you would form with your brothers. Your dad and I would raise you to understand that siblings make the very best friends. You would love your brothers. And they would love you. They probably wouldn’t share their toys at first, but I know they would eventually come around. Then they would protect you and teach you things. Your oldest brother would teach you to love books and trucks and that Paw Patrol is the greatest TV show ever. Your middle brother would teach you how a little persistence and whining goes a long way in getting grownups to do whatever you want them to. He would also teach you how to be fearless and that vegetables can taste good sometimes; and if you eat as many bites as mommy tells you to, then you’ll get dessert every single time. I have no doubt you would have grown up to look just like them. Even when you were born at only 20 weeks, you looked identical. We have some strong genes in this family, I tell you what.
Writing this hurts my heart, baby. I know you’re in the happiest place—a place I can’t even begin to comprehend or understand. I can’t help but wish that you were here with me. For some reason that I’ll never know, God needed you more than we did. I wish that wasn’t so hard to accept. It does bring me comfort to know that you never experienced pain or sadness—only love and warmth. I pray that you know just how wanted you were, little buddy. Because you absolutely were. I love you with all my heart and then some, sweet baby boy.