My unborn child,
I know, even as you grow bigger and bigger inside me, that one day you will be bigger than me. A bigger person in front of a shrivelled old woman bent under the load of years of realizations, heartbreaks, heartburns, sagging skin and snowed hair that were once ebony. You will be everything and nothing I have ever dreamt of, all at once. But I will love you.
I will love you with every single cell of my body. As your own cells multiply and the atoms within you become more and more crowded, the grey cells of my head will become less and less competent in knowing the best ways to take care of you. From your first ear-splitting cry in my arms to your nappy days, your first crawl, your first school day, your ever-changing demands and screams for attention, your always morphing ambitions, your flitting desires, your longings for love and the vacancy in your heart, your need to prove yourself in a competitive world, I’ll watch all of it, trying to cover my eyes every time you falter and hoping I could be a shield between you and the rest of the universe.
As I think of you tonight, getting ready to leave me bit by bit, I know that one day it won’t just be the physical leaving but the mental and spiritual too. It will haunt me. But I have seen birds leave their nests and fly into the unknown dawn and I know you will too. I have seen chicks fall out of their nests and never wake up again. It scares me. No. It terrifies me.
You see, I’ve known for all these years, much before you became a reality that this world is the cruelest, most unforgiving place imaginable. I will leave you to form your own opinions of it (as I indeed, must) and try not to force my own down your throat. I will try to be the perfect mother. But all these years of knowing what my own vulnerabilities are makes me feel that the first person you must be protected from in this world is me. I will smother you with love, I will fill you with hope and joy and happiness. And then one day you’ll see that I too, was only human. Just another woman. You will know how I imprinted my own fears, some justified and others irrational, onto your soul. You will quantify the flaws that grew in you out of me. You will break apart your DNA strands and count the ones you inherited from my body. You will question, question, question.
I only hope you will forgive me that day. I only hope you will know that I have loved you more than anything or anyone else in this universe. I only hope you will understand that no matter how wonderful and pure love is, it is subjective and open to cracks. I only hope you will know that I never wanted to hurt you.
You might even wonder if it was worth it, falling out of the skies into a world that is so despicable. You’ll wonder why, if I loved you, did I let you come into this world at all? The answer to this is a selfish one. I have been programmed to not want barrenness to haunt me. I have been conditioned to want to give my human body and soul to a being I generate inside me and then present to the world.
Are you a scapegoat then? I hope you never come to this realization but as your mother, my unborn child, I must be honest with you. We are all nature’s scapegoats. Caught in an experiment we did not begin, we are destined to wander alone and helpless, clinging to desperate solutions. I can only give you this. This and my body and soul. It will not be enough to keep you from collapse, my love. Like me, you too will succumb one day, to all the miseries and the painfully short nature of life.
You will wonder now, how, if I knew all this, did I have the audacity to let the only thing I care for in the universe, be exposed to it. How could my human weakness have let me come this far? I will let you form your own conclusions.
My dear, as you explore the answers for life, you will find your own weaknesses and even if there is no one else to embrace them, I will. That is the best I can promise you. I will be the sponge that will absorb every shock, every single one of the pains that shake your world. I will be there for you.
In the end, I hope you will find a reason to belong here for a while, even if it is with the realization that there is nothing here for any of us. Not really. In the end, whatever choices you make, I hope you will feel that your time here was worthwhile. In that moment when I’m long gone and you yourself are living in the fringes of life, I hope everything that will flash before your eyes will be beautiful and free from negative emotions, not clouded by bitterness and disappointment. Like every other mother of the world, I too will wish you all the good things in life. Even if they do not deliver, I’ll keep wishing them with every last breath.
But for now, my love, you are at peace. You are swimming in an ocean of unconsciousness, picking up speed as you prepare to enter the racecourse. Everything will feel colossal at first. It will be new and exciting. You will get distracted with the sensations that run down your finger, the hunger that crawls across your stomach, the softness of your new bones, the sounds that fill your ears, the sights and smells that overwhelm you. It will be a shock of colours. It will be a medley of tunes. It will be a rollercoaster. And right there, in the very corner, you will find me with a box of tissues and a heart laden with mingled sadness and joy. Don’t worry because you will know me when you hear my heartbeat. You and I, sweetheart, are connected in this lifetime by bonds stronger than this utterly contemptible world can break.
And so I will end this letter at the very beginning.
Love you to the moon and back,