Over the past few months I’ve found myself reading biographies on people that lived well before modern times. One of the things that struck me as particularly interesting was the way writers went about gathering information on their subjects. There were no TV interviews to watch, no documents left behind on the internet, and no living relatives to interview. The best way to learn about the subjects was through the letters they left behind.
Because fame is right around the corner for me and biographies on my life will be in great demand 100 years from now, I thought that leaving behind a trail of letters (digital though they may be) sounded like a great idea. In my opinion, letters are the most illuminating form of communication we have and the idea of experimenting with that was too intriguing to pass over. My younger sister, Lauren, will be participating in an ongoing letter share with me. Where it goes and what we learn about one another I have no idea. Follow along and find out with us.
Florida was so nice and just what the family needed. Jonathan gave me the side eye every time I picked up the phone so messages were few and far between and I was a-okay with that. Now that we’re back home though I’m anxious. I don’t want the deployment to begin. But I suppose we should just get it over with and get started. Ugh. I’m dreading it.
I think any couple that has dove into the wonderfully scary deep end known as parenthood will tell you that babies sure do change relationships. Jonathan and I became parents 18 months into our marriage. Sure, we were married but Jonathan and I had pretty separate lives. He worked long hours at the golf course and was off on Mondays. I worked a regular 9-5 Monday-Friday job and had the weekends to myself. Even though we were each doing our own thing, Jonathan and I had a pretty solid foundation. We were happy and in love. So when 6 pound 9 ounce baby Emma came crashing into our world, everything was intensified. We were happier and we were more in love. Emma gave us that much more to share with each other, that much more to talk about, and all those first experiences we got to share together. It was the first time that I felt I was a part of a team.
Bringing a baby home though can be completely terrifying. You can’t figure out why the baby is crying, why she isn’t sleeping, is she hungry, is she cold, etc? It can drive you crazy. And while I was trying to figure out how to be a mom, Jonathan was my rock. He loved me through it. I can remember sitting in Emma’s nursery with her trying to get her to nurse. I was a hormonal mess. She didn’t want to eat but she was hungry. I laid her down on the floor and went into the bedroom and cried. What was I doing wrong? A few minutes passed, and Jonathan came in, told me I was doing a great job but to remember I couldn’t give up on her. He was loving and encouraging. Emma is 7 now and when I’m frustrated with where she and I are in our relationship, I often think back to those words “You can’t give up on her.” I’m sure there were some tense moments in those early days of parenthood. Everyone is tired. Everyone is hungry. No one wants to wipe poop off of the babies butt again. But you get through it. And you can laugh when you’re telling friends of how your spouse was so tired, they ended up burping a pillow instead of the sleeping baby in the bassinet. So to me, everything and nothing changed in our relationship. We had a solid base to begin with and Emma just made everything that much better. I think you and Deana are off to a great start. I’ve seen you with my kids. I picked you to be their caregiver should Jonathan and I die at the same time for a reason. You’re amazing, Douglas. My advice when the time comes for you and Deana to be parents is simple – love her through it. It’s worth it in the end. Trust me.
After that baby comes and you’re thinking of having a 2nd, I’ll have a whole new letter for you of what it’s like to become a family of four. As I wrote that the song “Welcome to the Jungle” was playing in my head. We got fun and games!