I kept a journal (still do) for my first child to mark milestones, funny things she said, and moments that could be of interest someday when she reads it as an adult. I imagine her reading it when she is planning to have her own child and later reading it again to compare notes. I’m writing it because I wish I had something similar, because I may want to refresh my own memory, and maybe a little just in case I’m not there for her as an adult.
So it made sense to start a similar journal for my son while I was still pregnant. This time is very different though. This time the world seems to be breaking into pieces around us while we hide in our tiny apartment trying to stay safe from it all–while my belly just gets bigger and bigger. There is a feeling that the world is changing forever and in ways we cannot predict. I think I should try to write something to reflect the world we know now, with all its terrible flaws. Should I be hopeful about the future? Yes, but I can’t always do it. I can’t help but imagine this pregnancy lockdown, our family’s struggle without any safe access to outdoor space or fresh air, my own attempts at walks around the block which end in dodging delivery bikes in the street because people just cannot understand sidewalk distancing…all this may seem quaint to my future son in a world with constant outbreaks.
I think about the Black Lives Matter protests growing bigger than ever and some of those horrid confederate statues finally coming down after all these years and I imagine how confused and disturbed he will be that we lived in such a racist society. That’s my hope: that the future will be so much better that the need for these protests will seem insane.
I try to write about my every day experiences because I know they may be somehow interesting in the future. Right now it seems so dull. Everything seems slow and fast at the same time waiting for the baby to come and worrying it will be at the wrong time. I worry that the day he decides to arrive will be the day that Covid spikes again in NYC. I worry that he will never get to see the good things about this world that saw–clear lakes, old forests, concerts with hundreds of voices singing together…