Dear Hypothetical Baby,
I know it’s strange to be writing to you since you don’t actually exist. At this point you are not even a zygote. You live only in my head. But you might be real someday, so I feel like there’s some stuff we need to get out of the way right off the bat.
I am sorry. Really sorry.
I am already asking too much of you.
Maybe if we just get it out in the open and I play all my cards it’ll make things a little easier for both of us.
At first, it was just that I wanted you to be a girl.
Then I wanted you to be a nice, mellow, relaxed baby.
But now I think my requests are starting to add up so much that it’s getting out of hand.
I want you to be cuddly. I want to be able to carry you around without having to keep you swaddled all the time. I want to get to hold you on my chest and have you snuggle against me.
I want you to be sweet and soft and look around at the world quietly.
I want you to be content.
And, well, there is of course the one big thing…
I don’t want you to be autistic.
You, hypothetical baby, are my shot at having a normal baby. And I am putting all my eggs (so to speak) in that basket.
I want you to be everything I ever wanted a baby to be. And as everyone is always having babies and talking about how sweet they are, my list of requirements gets longer every day.
It isn’t fair. I admit that.
And I hope that when you do make your appearance I’ll stop caring so much about what I want you to be and accept you as you are.
I really hope I do.
But I can’t guarantee that will happen.
The problem is what the problem always will be: your brother.
I want so much for you not to have to struggle with the things he’ll struggle with, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to struggle with him. He is probably going to make your life difficult. I’m sure he’s sorry about that, too. Or he would be if he had any idea what sorry meant. But this is really more about you and me.
Or it should be about just you and me, but your brother is unavoidable. He has changed everything. He has changed the way I look at the world, and he has completely changed my expectations.
This sucks for you. You are now burdened with my expectations. And not just normal parent expectations. But seriously serious expectations. It’s not just that I want you to be happy or have good grades or any of that cliched stuff. It’s that you’ve come to represent everything about parenthood to me. Everything that I feel like I’m not getting.
Here’s the problem, Hypothetical Baby: you are going to be whoever you’re going to be. You will have very little control over granting any of my wishes. You could be difficult and me wanting you to be easier won’t make you any easier. Believe me, I know that too well.
So I will try to appreciate you. Every second of you. Because it’s very possible that you will be the last baby I will ever have.
Your Hypothetical Mama
PS–If you do want another sibling, I suggest you be very very nice. Otherwise it’s not happening.