More than anything, I wish for you to experience life with a kaleidoscope in your hand. A tool of hope for your exploration of the world, which your dad and I can't wait to start with you. There is so much to see, and you will learn as much from the ugly as you do from the joyous times.
I dream about swaddling and singing to you - I think I'll either be bouncing up and down to Aretha Franklin or gazing into your eyes with tears as I rehearse Garth Brooks' "The River" and "If Tomorrow Never Comes." Not sure if you'll hear some of the classic baby melodies about beluga whales or girls named Miss Mary Mack. I may not be that type of mama. There is one about a spider that I've always thought had a lot more to it, though: After rain washes away our progress, the sun comes out and we climb again. That sounds real.
You're coming into a family, and a world, that will always show you two sides. Whether its music, school, relatives, friends or Minnesota winters, nothing is all good or all bad. When the world seems most fragmented in groups and broken in spirit, you will find minds and hearts of passionate people exploding with creative ideas for change. While you'll meet cynics and people who dwell in the negative, there are so many positive people you'll observe as well - and it doesn't matter if some call them dreamers or idealists. People who give the world their all in an attempt to make it more meaningful and safe are the kind that provide hope. It's the kind I want to be for you.
Hope is a feeling that we cannot live without. My favorite college professor one day jumped on a desk and shouted: "Folks! The human race can endure more suffering than you can ever imagine, but they cannot do it without hope." This phrase stuck with me because hope can seem so dichotomous: It's an empty platitude or a life force. Let me explain, as life is not going to be easy. There will be times that you are very upset and will hear from a few: "Cheer up, have hope. Things will get better." These words will not likely comfort you, because they don't validate the intensity of your emotions. However, there will be others who've been through hell and back, and their stories of light from darkness will fill your soul with strength and hope.
It is due to these truths that I wish for you to experience life fully, and with a kaleidoscope. That image was once a tangible object given to me during a black night that lasted many years. Long before I met your dad, I was married to another man and he died. My life and dreams became a collection of broken, jagged glass, and it didn't take much to feel one of those sharp pieces pierce my heart. I cried so much. One day, our friend Beth told me and a group of other people that life is not about Plan A (what we perfectly intend and prepare); in fact, life is about Plan Bs. She said that when we feel broken, those pieces within us can shift like the pieces in a kaleidoscope and create new patterns.
I've now dedicated my life to finding new patterns from broken pieces, within myself and others. There are such wonderful people waiting to meet you - people who walked with me when I was lost, and people I've walked with when they were. To these individuals, you are a sign of hope and a beautiful new triangle in my kaleidoscope of life. I'm so glad I survived, as I've never lived - nor wanted to live - more fully. I am grateful to have your funny and compassionate dad to share my days and to have you growing in my belly.
You know a dream is like a river
Ever changin' as it flows
And a dreamer's just a vessel
That must follow where it goes
Trying to learn from what's behind you
And never knowing what's in store
Makes each day a constant battle
Just to stay between the shores.