To My Future Child
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To My Future Child

I can't promise you the world, but I can promise you this

23
To My Future Child
The Mom in Me, MD

My child,

I'm going to be honest, I never thought I'd make a good mother. Maybe it's because I'm too young to see it or maybe it's because I grew up without the lovey-dovey #famgoals that I thought defined a good parent-child relationship. When I was young, my parents were never my go-to for advice on relationships, friends, or personal concerns. Not because they weren't open to it, but because I never let them be. I disobeyed them more times than I'd like to admit and I struggled with this picture-perfect image of what a "happy family" should look like. Yeah, mothers and children fought, but they also went shopping together on weekends and talked about everything - right?

After a while I discovered there is no "correct" mother-child relationship. Some are fun, some are messy, and some are sadly non-existent. It took me a long time to finally see my mother for who see is: the person who gave me life. There is no greater connection that two people can have. It took me even longer to learn to treat her with the respect she deserved from her daughter. Yes, she wasn't perfect but neither was I, not by a long shot.

I have no clue what you're going to look like. I can't predict whether your skin tone will match mine or if you will be able to sing a high C, become a straight-A student, or manage to kick a football farther than I can see. I don't know how you came to be. Maybe you were what I was waiting for or maybe you were a blessing in disguise.

I can't promise the world. I can't promise you will never be hurt or I will be able to hold your hand through every moment coming your way. I can't promise you will never fall and scrape your knee. I can't promise your father will always be around. I can't promise you will love me.

But I can promise I will do my best. I promise I will never stop loving you. I will never hit you and I will never stop caring about you. I promise you will grow up in a place of love. I promise to give you everything I am capable of - everything I've got. I promise to tell you you're beautiful inside and out as often as I can. I promise to say "I love you" as much as possible. I promise to teach you that determination can bring you anywhere you want to go and that life has no destination: it is all a journey. And above all else, I promise we will go feed swans together if you ever find yourself feeling like an ugly duckling.

The moment they put you into my arms I will promise all of these things. Nothing else will matter to me anymore. Everything will be suspended in time, at risk of becoming forgotten, for my mind will be on a far more important matter: you.

We will fight. You will cry. I will scream. You won't always appreciate the sacrifices I will make for you, just like I am just beginning to realize what my mother has done for me. You might even say, "I hate you!" once in a while and I might even get a few doors slammed in my face before we get where I am with my mom now.

You will learn that the world is a funny place. People will disagree and things will sometimes get ugly. Sooner or later you're going to have to form opinions on situations and make some tough decisions. Some of these decisions might mean standing against those you love in order to stand up for what you believe in. Whenever you do that, just know that I am proud of you.

Someday you will be standing on the same planet I am now thinking about the same thing. You might be afraid of what's to come just like I am. Maybe you think you'll make a terrible mother too, just like I am now. But let me tell you something, so did my mom. And let me tell you something else, my mom turned out to be the greatest person I have ever known. I wish I had realized it before: she might not have always been the mother I originally wanted but there is no doubt in my mind she was the mother i needed.

I can't promise you the world (although I wish I could). But I can promise you that I will do my best to be the mother you need, even if you don't always think so. Never be afraid to come to me when you need me because I love you more than I could ever be mad at you.

I will leave you with the greatest thing my mom has ever taught me. In life, almost everything is completely out of your control. The only thing you can be in charge of is yourself: how you act and how you react, how you feel and how you treat others. So be kind, look on the bright side, take your time, step back when it's needed in order to look at the bigger picture, swim against the crowd, never cut with the knife facing towards your body, and never be afraid to ask for help.

Hopefully when we meet, I will be able to be everything you need, when you need it.

I love you,

Your Future Mother (March, 2017)

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