I've decided it's time to write a letter to my daughter. Some day, I hope she finds this, reads it, and allows it to let her know me better.
You're 23 weeks along now; almost 6 months. I can't believe it. It seems like just a moment ago you were simply a figment of my imagination, and yet now you're moving and apparently hearing and feeling my movements. How cool is that? Your dad felt you move for the first time the other night, and that was such a wonderful moment for him. He's been wanting to do that for a few weeks now. On your stronger kicks, I can see my belly move, and it's both amazing and weird. I keep joking that it's like that scene from Alien when the monster bursts from the man's stomach. You're trying to escape! :D
As cool and neat and wonderful as everything is, though, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared out of my mind as well. I'm scared of just about everything. How will I keep you safe? Will I be a good mom? Will I be able to keep up? Will I make you proud? Will I be able to keep myself from projecting my body image issues on to you (that's a big one)? What about finances? Will I be able to keep you comfortable?
And then I worry about things that will affect our relationship. How will you feel about dogs? Will you be a girly-girl or more tomboyish? Will you be popular or a bit more nerdy? If you end up wanting to go out and party, how will I relate?
I know I'm looking at years down the road, but those are my fears right now.
Still, I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am. I can't wait to spend afternoons taking you to the park, or the Children's Museum (Yay!), or on hikes. I can't wait to teach you how to ride a bike or swim or possibly even ride a horse. I can't wait for my dad to take you fishing for the first time or to teach you how to throw a basketball. I can't wait for a night to sing you to sleep, or, even better, to watch and listen to your father sing you to sleep.
I have so many hopes and goals for you, and I can't wait to see what you decide to do with your life. I'll be there to guide you, but know that your decisions are ultimately yours. I may not always agree with you, and I can guarantee we'll have plenty of disagreements (especially if you're at all like me), but know that I will always love you.
You're going to greet this world surrounded by people who love you. That's important for you to know, and I hope you are never given the chance to forget it. I love you. Your dad loves you. Your grandparents love you. Your aunts and uncles and cousins love you. Even if you end up being a little shit, we will still love you. We may yell at you, but we'll still love you. If we didn't love you, we wouldn't yell because we wouldn't care.
Please don't ever forget that.
P.S. It is still very weird to me to use a term like "Dad" or "Father" and mean Hans. To me, it still means my dad!