Dear Liberty

Dear Liberty,

Here I am finally writing to you after 9 months of preparation and excitement and questions and waiting. Preparing for you has been an entirely different experience to Seb and Cali. We now have two little people who have been running around as we built the house we live in – Seb learnt to crawl on makeshift carpet and concrete, while Cal and him only got their own room just before you were conceived – and as you started rolling and kicking around inside your mummy, and so everything has been different as we’ve anticipated you joining our moon unit, our crazy Catley-Richardson team. And your birth is going to be entirely different too, we hope, because mummy will have the chance to bring you into the world at home, which I think is one of her greatest dreams.
Dreams are so important to us. I am the worst of us for making our dreams wobble, for saying that things aren’t possible, for bursting your mummy’s bubble when she’s trying to build something new and exciting in our lives – but fortunately when we all work as a team my negativity is always beaten by our hope and our power to make things happen. This year we dreamed the biggest dream of all, a move to France that would have changed every part of our lives and given you and your siblings (how awesome is it to say siblings!) an entirely different future – and while you grew bigger and bigger we built our dream bigger and bigger. We put our heart and soul into making it happen. Your name is even part of our celebrating the dream, making it part of all of our lives.
Our France dream faded away, in the end. But it doesn’t matter, because in you we always had a special dream of the next brilliant person to join our family. There have been many hard parts to this year but you have always been a wonderful centre to our world, the wonder of your growing and becoming a tiny human being, the wonder of what we’ll see in you of us and how your own personality will flourish – as it already has done even while you’ve been in the womb. You’ve had your bit to say in our important decisions, our big conversations, and always made yourself a part of whatever was going on.
And now we have more excitement, with a new dream on the horizon. But none of the novelty of our changing lives will ever overshadow how miraculous you are and how important your own self is to the family that we’ve asked for you to be a part of. Your name might have come from a dream that’s no longer with us, but the deeper and more poignant meaning of Liberty will be, like you, a light that will burn brightly in our lives forever, always reminding us of the special things we believe in and hold to our hearts to be true. I hope that’s not too much pressure to put on your little shoulders, but I’m sure that rather than make you feel burdened the power of your name will make you feel special, reminding you of our love and the love you bring. We’ve always wanted your names to be your superpowers.
Our questions have been part of our discovery of you – would you be a boy? No! Would mummy be able to have the home birth she’d dreamed of? It looks like it! Are you going to be like Seb, or like Cal? We hope you’ll be entirely your own person; in fact we already know it to be true because during your first scan you made a body-popping sort of move that made an impact even on the nurse helping us! Would you be breech? Perhaps you liked being as close to mummy as you could be, but thank you so much for turning around at just the right time! And now, finally, when are you going to be here? Because we can’t wait any longer!
Writing to you I end up writing about me, about your brother and sister (squee!) and about your mummy. Perhaps with you I’ve not managed to get to know you as much as I should have done before you were born or as much as I maybe did with Cal or Seb, although my letter to Cal was written at about the same time as yours is now! Mummy gets very disappointed in me when I’m not engaged as she is or as I should be, which is hard to hear but good for me because I can always get closer. Just because you’re not born isn’t the reason, either, as sometimes I let Seb and Cal down too even though they are right here in front of me.
What I do know about you, though, already makes me proud to be your father. You are already so very special, so different and distinctive, we already have our unique memories that are only about you and you’ve already made yourself a real part of our dreams and our lives. I can’t imagine how you’ll look or what you’ll do when you get here. I only know that I can’t wait, that we’re all so excited to meet you (especially Cal and Seb who will love having a baby!) and I know that you’re going to make our lives so much bigger, so much better and so much more fun.
All my love, all my heart is yours. Come on and join the party!

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