Hey Kiddo. It’s me, your Mom. I’m writing to you from the past. The very distant past, actually. You see, as I write this, your existence is still far off in the hopeful future. And as much as I can’t wait to meet you, I’m ok with both of us taking our time.
I want you to know that, even without knowing who your Dad will be, what your name is or whether you’ll even exist in the future, I’m a 100% whole person as I sit here today. I’m not waiting for, nor expecting, you to complete me. I’ve had thirty years on this earth comprised of lofty dreams and concrete accomplishments. Missed opportunities and sheer, dumb luck. Friendship and sisterhood. Crippling disappointment and embarrassment so acute I thought I’d never recover. In short, there was a me before you.
When I was fourteen, I found a love letter addressed to my Mom hiding in the binding of an old book. Inside I found three violets – dried and pressed paper-thin against yellowing lined notebook pages – and an endearingly sappy signature of a high school boyfriend. I don’t remember what the love letter said but I do remember the sensation of stepping back in time. Of having a new perspective of what it meant to be the daughter of Anne Arends. A cheerleader from a small town in Decorah, Iowa. An unmatched natural beauty with a special talent for music, dance and winning the affection of any dog she ever encountered. A girl who immortalized pretty flowers between the pages of her past.
Up until then, she existed for a single purpose – to be a Mom to me and my siblings. It was the only way I’d known her until I stumbled onto this little nugget of truth, a window back in time to the woman she was before she became Mom.
Kiddo, I will be different when you come along. The bits that make up my core will be the same, but the second you’re born, I’ll shed my independence like a skin. What’s left will be a raw vulnerability that will simultaneously thrill, terrify and change me. Right now, I cherish my independence. It’s sacred. But I know that someday I’ll be ready to cherish you more. This is my version of that love letter. To try to give you a glimpse of me before you in hopes that it strengthens whatever relationship we might have.
Can’t wait to meet you.
My Favorite Things As of May 5, 2017
Iced coffee, year-round
Your cousin August’s laugh
Being asked my opinion
The electric shock of having chemistry with someone
Any story, really
The view from my one bedroom apartment in the north loop
Washing my makeup off
Introspective conversations after too much wine
Pride & Prejudice
Chocolate croissants in Paris
My Least Favorite Things As of May 5, 2017
The wrinkles in my forehead
Forgetting where I put something
Waiting in line
The word, “viral”
People who don’t like Harry Potter
Allie is a Minneapolis-based digital marketer, lucky enough to make a living by hanging out with really smart people and coming up with disruptive, technology driven ideas at Space150. Her passions include traveling, coffee, books, feminism, obsessing over the dog she just saw on the street corner and trying not to blush at inconvenient moments.
Photo by Anastasia Galka Photograhy
BY Allie Arends - May 5, 2017
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.