What can you say to a baby being born right now?

April 15, 2020

Yesterday, my wife and I had a virtual baby shower. It was wonderful, filled with love, and profoundly weird.

Our first child is due on May 4th, and as I’ve watched the world collapse around me, I’ve had the same thought over and over again.

What the hell am I going to say to this baby?

I feel like I have to answer for our decision to bring them into this bizarre, broken world. I feel like I owe them an explanation for the turmoil they’re about to experience. Moreover, I feel as if it’s my responsibility to impart enough wisdom to them that they can survive and thrive in this brave new world that I am just now learning to cope with, let alone thrive in.

I don’t know what to say to this baby about COVID, or the economy, or our political landscape, or sheltering in place.

But I sat down and started writing this morning, and this is what came out…

Hi there baby! I’ve been waiting nine months.
I’m so glad to meet you, and I love you a bunch.
There’s a lot for you baby. A lot to do, feel, and see.
But just for a moment, take time to be.

Someday soon, you’ll learn to crawl, walk, and run.
And running is good, it can even be fun!
You can run anywhere you want, only you can decide.
You can run short and fast, you can run far and wide.

You can run towards money, power, or fame.
And running can be fun, if it’s just for a game.
But running can be scary if you run too fast or too far.
You might run so fast that you forget who you are.

Some people run fast, some people run slow.
Some people just run with nowhere to go.
Some people may tell you what kind of running’s for you.
But running isn’t important, it’s just something to do.

The thing that’s important is what you are learning.
Lying there still, not impatiently yearning.
See, walking is hard, and running is tough.
But if you don’t learn to be, running’s never enough.

There’s a lot for you baby. A lot to do, feel, and see.
But before you learn to run, just take time to be.

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