On the occasion of your THIRD Birthday, I am sending you this letter I wrote to you before I knew your face, once again.
To our first grandson, some thoughts on life
It hardly seems possible that in four weeks you will be with us on the outside. Enjoy these last weeks in your mommy because being carried around in there is by far the easiest of all the options in life. Your old Mojo (that is me) sometimes wishes she could get back in the dark womb and hide in the warmth and peace for a bit. (Don't be concerned about me, I won't actually attempt to do it.) I am not trying to scare you, I am just saying - enjoy it. That right there, inside your Momma, is the high life.
There are so many things I want to share with you. Things about your Mom, things about this family, things about my mistakes and things I hope you can learn without pain. Learning is hard, it takes so many tries. To me it seems that most of us need to learn the hard way. We learn slowly, we fall, we stand up, repeat, repeat.
I wish I could tell you ALL things that would help it be easier on you. More than that, I wish you could listen and truly hear me. The thing is, I know that you cannot. I know you cannot because I did not, and your Mommy did not. Because that is not a thing. We seem to be a gene pool that wants to get knocked around a bit as we learn.
Having said that I know I cannot save you from all pain or from making mistakes, there are just a few things I decided you might like to know before you come out into this boisterous and chaotic world.
Love wins. Every time.
Now you might be saying to your baby self, what does that even mean, Mojo? That is so abstract! You sound like a hippie or something. Let me tell you: As you grow up, you will find that sometimes things hurt you or make you angry. Someone might misunderstand you, say something hurtful, or even intentionally lash out at you. When things hurt, when we hurt, we always want to curl up, withdraw, or strike back. That is just how we are, this gene pool.
Your old Mojo wants to tell you that love never returns void. I know you don't know the word void yet. Let me try again. When you are hurt, if you can try super hard to love yourself and love others around you, even the person that was mean to you, that will never be something you live to regret. A regret is something you later wish you could change. The things I wish I could change in my life are all things that I did when I was very hurt or angry. We read that a soft answer turns away wrath, but a grievous word stirs up anger. That just means, when someone hurts you, you return their insult with a loving response. This sounds simple, but it is so crazy hard. It might take you fifty or sixty years to get it right. I know people that died very old that never quite got how important kind words and love are. Your Mommy and Daddy are going to teach you about love, watch them closely. I think they both know a lot about love.
Forgivness is so hard, but it is a part of love.
This one is gonna be rough, there is just no way around it. I am sorry to hit you with so much before you even get here. I just want it to be easy for you later, that's all. There is a man named MLK Jr. that I hope you will learn about that said, “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” That is a way of saying, forgiveness has to be worked at non-stop. People will hurt you, if you are able you will respond with love, but you will still have the work of forgiving ahead of you. If you try to continue to love someone you have not forgiven, you will get a big old smack of reality right between your blue eyes, it is basically impossible. Forgiveness just means that you don't allow that hurt to continue to cause you pain. You turn it over and cross it off, and it no longer acts as a weight you must carry.
One of my very favorite Dutch guys, his name is Henri, said it his way, “Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.”
To simplify for you, Henri was trying to say this: Forgiveness is really just love, and you already know how important love is.
Nothing is ever as bad as it seems.
This is just something you figure out when you reach 40 or so. I am telling you early, to save you the trouble. Sometimes it feels like the pain won't go away, or the embarassment or shame is just insanely HUGE and earth-shattering. It does feel that way in the moment, your Mojo knows it so well. This might sound silly to you, but just give it a few weeks. After a few weeks things seem smaller. You are just gonna have to trust me on this one until you get a chance to see for yourself.
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Now that I have shared those things, I feel like I should say one more thing to you. Someday, when you are quite a bit older, you will learn about my reaction to the news of you. You might hear that I cried and felt overwhelmed for your Mommy and Daddy. You might learn that for a few weeks we had a bit of hard time. Then, like number three says, we woke up a few weeks later and realized that things were going to be okay. We figured out that it was not so big or impossible. Not only did we realize that things were going to be okay, we got quite excited about the prospect (do you know that word? it means the coming possibility) of meeting you, holding you, smelling you, and getting to know you.
More than 30 weeks have passed since I learned about your little beating heart inside your mommy. In those weeks I have prayed for you, loved you more each day, and watched your Mommy's tummy grow and begin moving like crazy. (She sends me videos. What is it you are doing in there, exactly? Nobody expects you to produce work until you are a bit older, take a load off and get some rest while you can, because it is not nearly so calm and dark out here.) When I meet you in just a few short weeks I know I will be in awe of you. I hope you will show me some of those fancy moves once there is more space to perform.
I need you to know, the time it took for me to get totally excited, was really just fear. I was afraid for your Mom and Dad and for you, too. It was unnecessary fear, I know that now. I guess you get your first chance at forgiving (which we already know is love), right away. Forgive me for being fearful about you, please.
I am so excited to meet you. I think we are going to like each other a lot.
all my heart,