We haven’t met yet and Blossom, I am fairly certain, will not be your name, but your Nana has loved you for a long time now. I call you Blossom because we will first meet in the usual sense around cherry blossom time. And, like the cherry blossoms, everyone is anxiously awaiting this miracle of beauty and renewal, this gift of spring, this new life – you. Your Mommy and Daddy, your Grandma Marietta and I, your aunts and uncles, are all trying to imagine what you will look like, what your personality will be like, what will your passions in life be and how you will grow and blossom into everything you were meant to be. We all have our own special wishes for you and, just as we do for your big brother, we make little promises in our hearts to help you, to share what we have learned in our lives so that you might have a life as full of joy and discovery and love as we can possibly make it.
It’s funny how we humans have this strange habit of thinking of you tiny new people as the culmination of all the lives that led up to you and the hope of all those who will come after. That’s quite a responsibility for someone who won’t be able to talk for another year yet! But we do. You and Jaxon have such a rich and varied heritage. None of this will mean a lot to you until you are much older but you will inherit stories about brave, hardworking, creative and smart women of long ago, and some you will meet and I hope come to know very well. Some of those stories will be told while we are in the kitchen. Your Grandma M will show you how to make Pancit and Lumpia, and she’ll tell you about how she learned to make it, about how she made it for your Grandpa; how it is that simple foods bind families together. I’ll take you for walks in the woods and fields and show you what plants are good for eating, how to tell a storm is coming, how to walk quietly and discover what wonderful things you can see when the animals don’t know you are there, just as your great grandparents did with me. I hope we do a good job of telling our stories, so that you will hear the love and pride in them. I know you will probably roll your eyes and tell us you would rather be out climbing something or working on your latest discovery, but I hope you hear enough to know we are giving you the gift of all our families’ strengths in those stories. We are assuring you that whatever adversities come your way – you will triumph over them. Whatever dreams inspire you, you will persevere and achieve more than your dreams. Whatever challenges you face, you will learn to gather around you the support and encouragement you need to shore up and overcome your weaknesses and let your strengths and talents lead you.
For now, though, I am content to smile to myself when I think of the glorious riot of sun-drenched colors, the interplay of sounds we interpret as music and how it speaks to us, and of the miracle of love, tolerance, encouragement and respect that is a family, all waiting for you. As I drove home from church this morning I could not help but think as I admired the snow-flocked trees lining the roads and the drooping boughs of the evergreen trees around our house, “I can hardly wait to show you all of this.” You will learn this soon enough, but your Nana will stop a conversation mid-sentence to point out a pretty bird who has arrived at our feeder, and often chooses “shortcuts” (which Grandpa T knows always take more time) just so she can wind through forests and fields instead of highway signs. And maybe that’s why you, little Blossom, and Jaxon, and every new person is such a blessing. Each of you reminds us to see the world with new eyes,with more wonder, with more joy; reminds us to be grateful for every day we are given to go exploring with you.
Love you forever,