A Letter To My Son on His Due Date

Dear Reuben,

I’ve made it awfully cushy for you in there, haven’t I? Maybe a little too nice. Home-cooked meals, balmy weather, and plenty of room to stretch out. I’ve read you books and sung you songs. I understand why you may just want to stay in there forever. I don’t blame you, I like the hotel life, too.

You also probably have a sense of what’s going on out here. While we’ve worked hard to give you a nursery with everything a baby could need, the world outside our door isn’t quite as ideal.

When I was a kid, I was born into a world that felt much more stable. We rode bikes through the neighborhood, colored with chalk, and took the bus to school without worry. Our teachers were concerned with the curriculum and troubled kids went to the counselor who’d call their parents. There was no glorified news cycles, no social media, no cyber bullying. The food fights in the cafeteria were about as bad as it could get back then. My how things have changed.  

I know you’ve been listening to what’s been going on out here. You’ve heard our frustrations with the President, you’ve listened to videos of elementary school drills, you’ve been in my belly as I’ve cried over recent news, and marched for women’s rights through our tiny downtown streets. You know the world isn’t as ideal as the one I’ve created for you.

But there is hope, baby Reuben, and there are things happening that are going to make things better for you and all of the kids growing up in this world. Today, on your due date, kids from all over the country are marching to oppose gun violence and to protect our schools. To protect all of the future kids who will walk into school and deserve to be safe. That my love, includes you. They’re marching for you. 

So you see, even though the world outside has many ups and downs, we’re holding onto hope and action. You’ll soon look up to these brave kids who paved the way for you. And we’ll all keep fighting to keep our children safe.

I also wish for you to see the world. For you to see that there are kids who may not look like you, but who can play just the same. I want you to experience the world. People living all the way across it are just like us, after all, and deserve the same things we do. There’s so much beauty in this world, and so much to learn about different cultures. Remember that spicy Thai food we ate the other day? That’s just the beginning, baby Reuben. We’re going to take you around the world, you just wait and see. 

Although we’ve reached your due date, you’re going to make us wait a little longer, aren’t you? We can’t wait to meet you. I can't wait to see your daddy hold you in his hands. You know you have a really big sister out here too, right? And a heap of aunts, uncles, and grandparents. And wait until you meet your cousins and our big, fluffy dog. There’s a lot of love out here for you. 

I understand your hesitations, and I don’t blame you. Just know we’re going to do everything in our power to keep you safe, loved, to show you the world, and to make your future bright. 

Ready when you are, baby Reuben. 

A letter to my son on his due date