Waiting for Birth Day

Dearest Baby,

Mommy is in week 39 of her pregnancy and is waiting for your imminent arrival. (She is becoming increasingly agro by the minute.)
She was told by the doctor that you could come at any moment, or not, as you have been illustrating, but she’s passed through a lot of the early stages of labor and is dilated etc… So… like the responsible person that she is, she stopped working and hence driving about the greater Los Angeles area to avoid giving birth to you in the car during rush-hour traffic. Considerate right?
So while she’s waiting for you, it gives her a little extra time to reflect on the 9 months that you’ve been together, sharing her personal space.
It’s November 30 and do you know who was born today? Winston Churchill. She will tell you all about him when you come out, but all you need to know for now is that he was the leader of Great Britain during World War II and a solid, inspirational dude who said things like “Never, never, never give up” and “ Success is not final… Failure is not fatal… it’s the courage to continue that counts” and “What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?”
You’re probably saying, Ma, what does this have anything to do with me? And why are you speaking in third person.  Well, I guess you’re right, I’m really thinking about me and what it has meant to be pregnant and what it will mean to be a new mom and persevere.
You see, people like to judge you by the way you look, and make decisions about what you can and can’t do because of the color of your skin, or the size of your belly, or the presence of a child and because of a lot of other things. They like to tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t work, or make predictions like you won’t want to work or act or direct or be a lawyer or run a business. Companies and firms pass up pregnant women and moms for projects and promotions and it’s not fair.
Let me tell you what mommy accomplished during your time in utero: 1) She wrote, produced, and acted in a short film 2) she directed a play 3) she produced theatre and ran a theatre company 4) she acted in other people’s projects 5) she traveled to Hawaii, and New York, and hiked and walked and shopped til she dropped 6) she saw plays and movies and friends and family 7) she spent lots of quality time with Daddy.
Mommy was sometimes tired and had to take naps. And when you started to get heavy, she got a little slower. But mostly she lived life and refused to play the pregnancy card.

And in a way you taught her how to be braver and more focused and more persistent than she ever was before. Cause she used to be afraid… a LOT. And she used to have lots of excuses about why she couldn’t do things, excuses like being short, or female, or colored. But she never used you as an excuse. Because that just wouldn’t be fair. Because it’s not your problem.
And that, she’s learning, is the real truth of being a parent. You have to be more steadfastly you than you’ve ever been before. You have to continue living your life and pursuing your dreams, not because it’s selfish, but because you have to show a little person how things can be done, how life can be better, and how dreams get pursued.
That Winston Churchill was a pretty cool guy. Don’t you want to share his birthday with him?

Love, Mom


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