Writing Challenge, Day 12: A Letter to My Unborn
To my beautiful firstborn,
As I think about you, and my future entrance to motherhood, I find myself contemplating the best attributes of my parents and all the various maternal figures who have raised me. I think of their strength, courage, tenacity, dedication, love, and the many ways they educated me. I think of all the things they’ve displayed that I wish to emulate in raising you. I also find myself thinking, possibly most intently, about the things that I wish to do differently, and the generational cycles that I wish to break with our relationship. In that regard, I promise you these things, which I will always aim to hold true:
I promise to love you unconditionally, ensuring that the love in my actions matches that in my words. Know that my love will never fade—not when you’re in trouble, not when I’m upset, and not when we disagree.
I promise to protect you with every fiber of my being.
I promise to support you, always.
Like those before me, I promise to instill in you a deep sense of pride in your Blackness before anyone else can teach you to be ashamed of it.
I will praise every curl in your mane, every curve in your features, and every drop of melanin in your skin, teaching you to do the same.
I promise to pass down the wealth of our history as you grow, equipping you with the power of knowing exactly who you are in this world as a growing Black Queen/King.
I promise to empower you without hindrance and teach you that you can do anything you set your mind to, just as well as anyone else.
I promise to teach you confidence, and I will be there with you providing guidance as the world tries to challenge it.
I promise not to project my own insecurities or past pain onto you.
It will never be your responsibility to assume accountability for the bad things anyone connected to you has ever done to me.
I promise to value your voice, never stifling or ignoring it for my own comfort or gratification.
As your parent, it will be my (and your father’s) job to make the final call in many situations, but as you grow, I promise to maintain an open line of communication between us in which dialogue is encouraged. I may not always choose what you want in the end, but your opinion and feelings will always matter and be considered in my decision making.
I promise to create for us a transparent dynamic in which you feel comfortable talking to me about anything, knowing that I will listen, support, and help you without judgement.
I promise to teach you a strong work ethic coupled with the art of owning a room.
I will teach you to be humble, but never downplay or apologize for your greatness.
I promise to exemplify self-love and exercise self-care in your presence. To be the best mother that I can be to you, I must commit to doing what’s necessary to be the best version of myself. It is also important for me to show you what that looks like so you will carry on those practices for yourself, when you reach adulthood and start a family of your own.
I promise not to lose my identity in raising you because I never want you to lose your identity in your relationships with anyone else. Self preservation is a very important, but often forgotten, element of every relationship you will ever have.
I never want you to relentlessly pour into others without also knowing the importance of refilling your own cup.
I promise to exercise self-control in how I speak to you regardless of my own stress or emotional state. I will never seek to hurt you, your feelings, or your spirit for the sake of feeling my own power.
I promise to never speak down to you or intentionally make you feel small. I will discipline you when required, but I always be selective with my language.
I promise that our relationship will maintain mutual lines of respect. I will respect you, as I expect you to respect me.
I promise you hugs, kisses, and comforting embraces.
I promise to refrain from naming my contributions of money or time as primary indicators of love.
I promise to be the parent you need me to be, tailoring my approach to your individual needs.
I promise to acknowledge the evolutionary nature of my role in your life. There will come a time when I must transition from being an executive in your life to being an advisor. While I may need patience at first, know that I will do my best to let you make your own life decisions and mistakes.
And lastly, My Wonderful Blessing, I promise that despite all that I’ve pledged to you, I will still make mistakes.
There will be days that I’ll wish to do-over. There will be days that I drop the ball. Even still, I promise you that I will never be too good to say “I’m sorry.” I will always be accountable (even when it’s uncomfortable), and I will always strive to make things right.
Our years together won’t be perfect, but I promise to do my best and be the very best example that I can be for you. I pray that you know how much you are loved and cherished already, far before your conception or birth. And I hope that no matter what we go through, you never doubt that you are your parents’ best, most joyous accomplishment.
I love you always,
Author’s Note: I am late completing this response because this topic is one that I knew would require me to dig deep into some heavier parts of my own upbringing. It would require me to think about some of the toxic behaviors handed down, and still very much present, through the various generations of my family. I wasn’t in a huge rush to do that at first, but I feel so much better now that I have written out these words. What started as a challenge became a tangible account of how I intend to parent my children someday, employing the same honesty, integrity, and unconditional love that I hope they will put out into the world.
Be reflective. Be authentic. Stay Kultured.