Dr. Zoe Shaw, A Year of Self-Care

My Promise to My Unborn Son

My Promise to My Unborn Son

Hey Buddy,

We can’t wait to meet you! Daddy and I are preparing your room, daydreaming of when we can all play in it together. Sitting here in anticipation of what life will look like for us, I wanted to share a little bit about what you can expect when you get out here. While we are going to hike, play with LEGOs, and go to the park by our house all the time, we are also going to make sure that you have openness in your life, Little Guy.

Openness means so much to us because it created the life we have today—it even brought Mommy and Daddy together.

Daddy’s family moved from Guadalajara to San Francisco before he was born, opening so many new opportunities as he grew up. Mommy grew up open to different cultures at her church and hosting homestays, learning the value of openness to people and different perspectives when she lived in a foreign country herself. We want to make sure our ceiling of “having experience and opportunity” is your floor, Buddy. When Mommy and Daddy promise you openness, let me tell you what that means.

We promise to have open hearts, to show you how to keep on loving even when it hurts. Sometimes it is tough out here. People hurt our feelings or life gets difficult. We want to show you that we can stay open, hoping, looking forward in joy, because life comes in seasons. You’ll see what that means when you get here, but basically after the rain there will always be sunshine. We must learn to wait for it. We will do our best to show you how.

New Mom Survival Guide: Boundaries that Will Keep You SaneWhen friends hurt our feelings, we will model what it means to forgive. When life doesn’t go according to our plan, we will show you what it means to adapt and respond rather than react.

We promise to open opportunities for you, Buddy. Not only can you meet our friends around the world, but you can meet Mommy’s flight attendant coworkers on the airplane and Daddy’s firefighter coworkers at the fire station. Every Mommy and Daddy have important people in their lives, so you get to meet ours!

You’re going to meet friends in our neighborhood, learning interesting and new things from them. We are going to make sure you’re able to do the things you’re interested in so your life can always get better and better. Be warned: If you choose to start something, you must finish it. No quitting mid-semester on any sports or hobbies you asked for, Buddy. I’m telling you now.

As we explore open opportunities, we promise to teach you how to weigh the pros and cons, how to prioritize, and how to make the decisions leading to the healthiest, happiest, best life you can conjure with your imagination. Exploring opportunities together, we encourage you to daydream big, Little Guy!

We promise to have open minds and encourage you to do the same. You’re going to be curious, creative, a problem solver, and learn so many new things. You’re going to learn about different people, cultures, food and customs, and learn how to love these new people you meet for exactly who they are. 

With an open mind, you can learn more about people than we have, think up more creative solutions than we did, and truly “be the change that you want to see in the world,” like the famous Indian politician Mahatma Gandhi challenged. You will be able to see things from a new perspective, one that can truly impact those around you. Our goal is to “make our ceiling into your floor” in both opportunities and openness, Pal.

We promise to give you open skies to experience the world. There is a famous writer you will read about in school named Mark Twain who said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrowmindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in on little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Yes, that is a lot of big words, Buddy, but Mommy promises to explain it to you. Then we will show you what he meant!

We promise to have open minds and encourage you to do the same.

You’ve already been to Hawaii a few times, all around the United States, to Israel, and to Tahiti in my belly when I was working at the airline. Daddy and I are going to make sure you go all those places and more, so you can learn your lessons both at school and in the world. If you are studying about indigenous people groups, we can show you their artifacts at the museum or introduce you to them in person. If you are studying about natural sciences, let’s go to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium. If you’re learning something intriguing in your political science courses, feel free to tell us when you’re ready to visit Washington D.C.

We promise you to have open hands, so we can show you how to hold everything and everyone with care but loosely. We can’t hold onto anything too tight, not our favorite toys or even people, because they are only on loan to us in this life. When we hold everything with an open hand, it becomes easier for us to share with others, harder for us to get hurt when we lose things, and more precious to us when we are given good gifts.

As we practice having open hands, maybe we can volunteer to distribute food on Thanksgiving? Or prepare boxes of Christmas presents for children who may have none? We might even learn the value of sending money to support a child in a developing country every month. There are a lot of ways we can learn how to have open hands, which often lead to open hearts for others.

We promise to show you an open dialogue with God. We talk to Him about everything. Know that you can do the same. He loves you even more than we do, which means He wants to hear the things making you happy, sad, frustrated, joyful— everything! He is always around, always listening, always waiting to respond to you. God gave us everything we have, including each other. We are a gift to each other! Mommy loves you, and always prays for you to be in God’s hands because He takes even better care of you than I ever could.

I know it’s a lot, Little Guy! These are all Mommy and Daddy’s adventure ideas, just like wanting to send you to airplane camp and science camp if you decide you want to become a doctor, astronaut, or international pilot.

Finally, we promise to be open to your ideas. We can’t wait to hear what you’re interested in as an individual, what you want to do, and how we can give you the best life possible. Dream big in that belly, Buddy. You have so many adventures awaiting. Take a nap now because the fun is about to begin. We love you so much!

Love,

Mommy and Daddy 


Worried about raising them right, Mama? Your fears will subside after listening to this podcast episode: How To Raise Responsible Kids: Tips For Every Age – 087

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