Friday, October 19, 2012

For Our Children

Dear children,

Last week I read this article in the Huff Post about moms being in the picture with their children. Your father-to-be does not like being in pictures at all (as I'm sure you are aware) so I sent him this article as proof that he should let me take more pictures of the two of us being young and happy and in love.

I'm sure by the time you read this you will be well aware that things aren't always perfect between us two. You will know that I tend to stress out over little details and work myself into a frenzy of worrying (you can imagine what wedding planning is doing to me). Fortunately Frank is quite good at calming me down and reminding me about what really matters, although he often gets a little worried about things too. Being engaged to get married while a third-year law student will do that to you.

You know that I'm not very patient and not very organized (although I'm trying oh-so-hard to get better at both!). You will know that Frank does not like large crowds and people being loud, unhelpful, and rude - for example when we went to a special Mass on Sunday that went on forever and had lots of noisy people talking all through the service, which stressed the poor man out to no end. You will know all these things, and probably lots more of our flaws besides.

Despite the little arguments and worries we have, this is a really good time for both of us. Frank is working his butt off with school and his job, but he is almost done and very excited to be wrapping things up. I'm so proud of how hard he works. As for me, I love where I live and I think I have the best roommates (and the best house) in the world. I really enjoy my work as an editor and everything it is teaching me - although I still daydream all the time about being a full-time wife and a mother to you someday. I'm so grateful that your father-to-be shares this dream and wants, as much as I do, to make it a reality.

The funny thing about Frank and me is that, while we are definitely homebodies, we consider every day an adventure. We love to do little things like get pumpkin spice lattes together, or try out a new recipe, or sit and watch classic movies under a warm blanket on cold nights  - and it is in the context of these little things that we are at our happiest. You'll probably think your parents are the most boring, old-fashioned people in the world, but someday we hope you'll appreciate how we try to prioritize our relationship and our time with family, friends, and with God over everything else. I always think of that charming quote from Hilaire Belloc: "From quiet homes and first beginnings, out to the undiscovered ends, there’s nothing worth the wear of winning but laughter and the love of friends." We think we are the luckiest people in the world to have found someone who cherishes these same things too.

We are both planners, Frank and I. Planners and doers and a little bit of perfectionists. We've already started talking about how we want to raise you. We want to give you the gift of a simple life - a childhood free of video games and technological gadgets and a lot of this silly clutter that the modern world gives us. Sometimes when I babysit, I can't believe the piles of pink plastic junk that fills the little girls' rooms, or the way some of the little boys are already glued to the TV screen and can barely function without an iPad movie at bedtime. We want something different for you - something simpler and gentler and more carefree. We're not yet all that clear on how we're going to do that, and we occasionally discuss the merits of Montessori schools vs. homeschooling vs. small classical Catholic schools. We do know that however we raise you, we want to be united 100% on our strategy, and we want to give you the gift first and foremost of knowing that you are deeply and unconditionally loved. We spend a lot of time daydreaming about being parents... although we're a couple of babies ourselves, hardly more than teenagers. But parenthood is something we have both wanted since we were very young. We hope you will know how much you have been wanted and planned for and loved even years before you were born.

Our lives are going to change so much in the years ahead... first with our marriage, and then in the years when we have babies. I know that my happy little, not-yet-married, 23-year-old brain can't even imagine how different my life will look in 10 or 15 years. I do know one thing: your father-to-be is the man I want by my side as we go through all the craziness ahead. He makes me laugh and he's really smart and he just gets me, you know? And he's the best and kindest man I've ever met. It's going to be tough at times... but I know we're going to be happy.

So, dear children, here is a little love note from your future parents. I want you to know how excited we are for you to get here someday. But I also want you to know that we loved each other long before you ever appeared on the scene... and we always will, long after you're gone and have left the nest. With all these pictures and stories and silly anecdotes, I hope you get a little taste of just how much.

Lots of love,

your future mom and dad


  1. Tess, what a beautiful treasure you have made for your future children!! As I read your sweet letter, I had tears in my eyes. I love hearing your love story of you and Frank!! Your readers are so lucky to get a peek at your story and hopefully see it continue to develop for years to come.

    Thank you for sharing.
    Your loving reader,
    ♥ Becca

  2. Thank you so much Becca! That means a lot and is really encouraging to hear. I'm really glad you liked it - I enjoyed writing it and hopefully it will all come true the way Frank and I imagine it. :)