Lou & Mel,
My beautiful babies, you have no idea the courage it took to make you. One day you will know, but for now you sit in ignorant bliss soaking up the love we shower you with. The day we learned that we would not have children without serious medical intervention we were shattered. We put it away in a box and tried to hide it away from our minds. How could we proceed? For days, weeks, months, we didn’t talk about it. Instead we ran away and filled our lives with other things. With school and nephews and buying a house and getting jobs, with papers and essays and homework and deadlines… but you were there, in the back of our minds, in our hearts. Waiting… It takes courage to face the truth, especially if that truth is a hard one. Would we ever be parents? Would my womb every be full of life? Would I ever look into the eyes of a child and see my husband and myself? The fear of the unknown is overwhelming at times but a desire deep enough can ignite courage stronger than any fear.
Suddenly, there you two were. The sun and moon and stars all revolved around you. Nothing else mattered. Every moment with you guys is wonderful beyond compare, nothing prepared me for that. I could only wax poetic about the future before I met you and the reality was so much better than anything my imagination could have ever created.
As I look toward the future my wish for you both, beyond any tangible possession or momentary satisfaction, is that you will face the world with courage. Courage enough to stand and fight for what you believe and courage enough to exercise patience and grace in the face of adversity. I pray you have the courage to protect each other, both of you. That you listen and respect one another, that you do not judge each other harshly or turn your back on the person you grew up with. It takes courage to accept differences and understand that sometimes you will not see eye to eye, instead you must agree to disagree and love each other all the same. I know you will grow to be great friends because I believe in the power of love and of family.
You my son are a warrior. You come from a long line of manly men full of courage and strength. I knew you were one of them the second I heard your cry. You let it be known the moment you were born that you were ready for battle, to take on the world and demand you be heard! Whoever you decide to be, own it. Stand proud and know that all the courage you will ever need is inside of your soul already. You are the first born son, you are Louis the IV, you were born of greatness. I can tell the years I will be able to hold you are limited, it is clear to me already that you are one independent boy. I imagine you like your father and your grandfather and my father, wild spirited and strong willed. Find the courage to be soft and gentile, do not let your ego rule your life. Each day will be filled with new things to see and new life to live, take it slow and do not be hasty, because sometimes it takes more courage to observe and consider than to act rashly without caution. When I look into your eyes I see an ocean of curiosity. I see you building your ship to sail the open seas and I know that the wisdom from generations of handy and unbelievably courageous men will guide you into boundless ocean of life with an unsinkable ship made of bravery, compassion and courage that will weather any storm.
My beautiful Mely,
You come from a long line of courageous women. They have lived their lives with gusto, embracing life at each turn. These women I speak of live within you, they are in your hands and in your hair and in your perfect lips, they make up each part of you. When you fear you are not strong enough, you must know that they are standing beside you, holding your hand as you press forth into the darkness. When the wind is blowing hard enough to shake your soul and you feel your legs trembling, I want you to know that you are not alone. You are a song that was written with love grand enough to cure even the saddest of hearts. We wrote you with every note we could muster and what we created was the most colorful of tunes. Each woman who contributed their love to make you, they were all spectacular. They were women who carried many children, strong and sturdy like a horizon of unshakeable mountains. They lived their lives for their most beautiful and prized possessions, the same way I live my life for you. Melody, you are the song of many hearts, you are so loved. As you grow I promise to give you the confidence needed to live a life full of courage and grace, the same way my mother did for me and her mother for her. One day you will not fit in my sling, but I will wear your love in my soul for the entirety of my life.