Letter to Baby P (Thanksgiving 2011)

Baby P, the image above is your first “close up” from an early ultrasound. Someday we’ll tell you about what it felt like to “see” you for the first time.

Dear Baby P,

Mom is going to have a laugh when she reads this and discovers that I am at a loss for words… since I’m generally the one who talks too much!

She and I talk to you all the time and sometimes — especially in the morning when we say goodbye before the workday — I put my lips to her belly and I tell you I love you.

I’ve finally sat down to write you the letter I’ve been meaning to write you. But today I don’t know what to say.

I thought I’d have some nuggets of wisdom to share or some insights about becoming a parent. But I don’t.

When folks find out that you’re pregnant, they always ask the same three questions: is it a boy or a girl? do you have a name? are you excited? Sometimes I think they ask you those questions because they want to say something but, like me, they don’t know what to say.

There are plenty of people who offer advice about being a parent and much of it is sound and some of it has been useful. But most of it is their way of sharing the experience with you. As one Italian friend of our wrote, having a child is the most normal thing in life and it is also the most extraordinary.

But then there are the grandparents. They don’t offer advice. But nearly all of them say the same thing: having a child will change your life in ways that you can’t imagine.

Baby P, that’s a photo of your beautiful mom! And it’s also a photo of you. Some folks say she’s the most beautiful mother-to-be they’ve ever seen. I have to say that I agree! She’s been such a good mother to you and I love her so much.

Becoming a parent sure does change your life: your rhythms and daily routines change; your lifestyle changes; your body changes. Every time mom and I go to the doctor for your checkup, we marvel at the miracle of life. Even with all the science of the twenty first century, the great brains of the world still can’t figure out how it all works. (And it’s probably better that way.)

But it also changes how you see the world: from the milk that I buy for mom at the store to the way a line from the poet Virgil scans; from the car seats that I installed last week to the financial challenges that we and our friends in Europe are facing every day; from your baby clothes neatly folded in your nursery to the sadness in a best friend’s voice when he talks about missing his child. Everything looks, tastes, smells, feels, and appears differently to me. But it’s not because everything is different. It’s because I’m different.

Baby P, that’s my silver milk cup from when I was born. Your grandmother, Mamma Judy, had your name engraved on the other side of the cup.

Baby P, there’s so much I want to tell you. About the world and its great cities, about music and poetry, about philosophy and art…

But today, the words just won’t come.

And so I think I’ll just put my lips to mom’s belly and tell you I love you…



Thanksgiving Day, 2011

13 thoughts on “Letter to Baby P (Thanksgiving 2011)

  1. your best post by far, brother… please be sure to save this so a teenager can read it years for now when they have the ability to BEGIN to fathom what YOU’RE going through during this time.

    not quite 8am on the west coast, and this is how i needed to start my thanksgiving.

    love you, brother.

  2. Jar,
    This was playing in the background as Juliet and I read your letter.
    Orchestral Suite No. 3 In D Major, Bwv 1068: II. Air – J.S Bach

    Hard to type for the tears…beautiful moment to start my TG. Thanks and best of luck with all.


  3. J, beautiful words of love that you have put on paper….your heart is so big and giving and Randy & I are so grateful you came into our Tracie’s life…enjoy the ride; it just keeps getting better….love all three of y’all….

  4. Cannot stop the tears Jeremy. Your love of your undoubtedly beautiful daughter is already so beautiful. You ache to say something to her here making me miss my own Jeremy painfully. This was lovely dear friend, thank you for writing it.

  5. Well it is time for the Pawpaw man to have a say at how blessed we all are to be expecting Baby P and we have great expectation at meeting the newest grandchild face to face. Maybe I should say our lips to her face. All of our grandchildren have been such a blessing and we look forward to being able to hold Baby P and tell here how much she is loved by her parents, grandparents and the really neat families she has become a part of, families that will love her and nurture her…especially her Pawpaw…yeah I’m ready and waiting to meet you Baby P…um, um, um, can’t wait…

  6. Thanks so much, everyone, for reading and for sharing your support… Tracie P and I are so lucky to be where we are today… and we couldn’t have made it without your love and solidarity… they mean so much to us… :)

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