To My Little Angel,
Now as far as I know, my half of your DNA is still resting safely in my egg cartons and your father’s portion is resting securely with him. But if you have any intel about who and where your Daddy is you let your Mommy know, OK?
I woke up this morning to the beautiful surprise of a warm, bright, sunny, and snow-free day in Brooklyn. I’m enjoying a quiet morning of journaling and listening to Stevie Wonder (and yes, you are going to HAVE to learn to love him!) before heading off to Manhattan to celebrate my birthday. I’ve finally adjusted to my quiet time now including my new ambient noises of the squeals of the L train and the occasional siren of a NYPD police cruiser. I can hardly believe that I finally get to call the Big Apple my home. But now that my boxes have all been unpacked and I’ve ticked off a fair number of tourist-y things on my New York to-do list, I realize that my dream of moving to New York had absolutely nothing to do with me—but it had EVERYTHING to do with YOU.
I realize now more than ever that being a great mother starts by being a GREAT woman. And being a great woman starts by living out your greatest dreams. Before your egg departs from my carton, I want to make sure that I have done ABSOLUTELY EVERY SINGLE thing that God has for me to do as a single woman so that when you get here I can give you the best mother ever. I want to make sure that you have a mother who fears NOTHING, says EXACTLY what she means, and takes life by the balls. It’s my duty to make sure that you have a mother who’s both a DREAMER and a DOER.
When you come to me with your first crazy idea at age 13 (and being that you’re my child I have a feeling that it will happen much sooner than that!), I can simply say “Yes” because I now know the wonder of riding an elephant in Bali, getting down on Bourbon St. in New Orleans, and creating a new life in one of the biggest city in the world. When you come to me with your first broken heart, I don’t have to give you a theoretical scenario from a Lifetime movie, but I can now share with you my adventures of loving men from Upper Marlboro, Maryland to Ghana, West Africa. When someone pokes fun of your physique, I can now give you a mother who BOLDLY celebrates every curve of her body.
When you run up against your first “can’t,” I want you to be able to say, “That’s not true because my mother said I can do ANYTHING!” When you encounter your first hater when you start your own business (no pressure, but entrepreneurship does run on my side of the family!), I want you stare down your naysayer and say, “You DO know that my mother runs her own business and she has a Pulitzer award, right?” (No Pulitzer quite yet, but I’m hoping that will arrive before you start kindergarten.)
I’ve heard the story quite a few times that during the last few days of your grandmother Ida Mae Lakins’ life that she told those who were listening in her hospital room that she just wanted God to take care of her youngest two babies. Every time that I step into an opportunity that I know I’m nowhere near qualified for or I blessing I don’t quite I deserve, I know that her prayers are being answered. I KNOW that my life is blessed beyond measure because of her prayers, and I owe it to her to continue that legacy of prayer by passing that blessing along to you.
I stand here today GRATEFUL and HUMBLED because I am now truly PRESENT to the GIFT of my life. And I delightfully soak up every second of my existence so that I can have the best heartbreaks, successes, disappointments, victories, and heart-bursting, joy-filled adventures to share with you.
I apologize in advance for the mass of incredibly curly hair you are going to inherit, the encyclopedic knowledge you are going to have of EVERY obscure Black history fact EVER, and having the easily identifiable mother who’s going to be loud and most likely wearing some gaudy shade of lime green.
But I won’t apologize for giving you a mother who’s now proud to wear the skin she’s in, loves the God she serves, and lives her life with pure LOVE, HOPE, ADVENTURE, and JOY. I don’t know when we’ll have the opportunity to first lay eyes upon on each other. That’s one thing I’ve definitely learned in 35 years, my timing is NOT God’s timing. But whenever God chooses for you to descend from Heaven and into my heart, I’ll be here loving God, loving life, and eagerly waiting to lavish every God-filled moment of my life on you.
Your mama Leah
(And hey, let’s set aside some time to have a serious talk about that whole labor and delivery thing. I’ve heard quicker is better, OK pumpkin? Thanks!)