My Dear Sweet Childe,

Who are you going to be? Will you be a boy or a girl? What name shall I call you? Will you grow up to be the first female president? Will you be rich and famous? Will you live a quiet yet fulfilling life? Will you have children of your own someday? I hope you learn from my mistakes. I hope that you are intelligent, but I will love you and help you through if you are not. Your father and I love you very much, and look forward to meeting you, but we are both worried. I worry about losing you before you are born. I miscarried your big brother or sister a couple of years ago, and I am afraid that the bleeding I am having is you being miscarried. The doctor said yesterday that you have doubled in size. Your father says not to worry so much, that you will be just fine, but I have grown programmed to expect the worst out of life and its situations. This is, of course, no one’s fault but my own, and perhaps you could teach me to see the bright side of things. You are my childe, so I will be teaching you many things; I hope I do a good job, but you will also teach me many things. You will teach me patience; you will teach me the type of unconditional love that only a parent and childe can share. You will teach me so much about you and myself as you grow and develop and change. I hope that I raise you right. I hope that the good parts of your father and I will radiate through you, and that the rough edges of us will be smoothed by your presence. I wonder if you will decide to follow the Christian teachings of my parents’ families, or if you will follow your father’s pagan ancestry? Perhaps you will do as your father and I have done and forgo organized religion altogether, opting instead to study the best aspects of each and come to your own conclusions. I wonder what color your eyes and hair will be? Will you have brown eyes like me, or blue-grey like your father? Will you have the really light hair your father has, or the dirty blonde that I have? Perhaps you will have something completely different, a meeting of recessive genes we’d forgotten existed. Will you be a single, or are you twins? Will you be tall like your father, or short like me? Will you be pale like your father and I are, or will you take after some of the easily tanning people in your ancestry, and be like your aunt Samantha? Will you be slender, or struggle with your weight like me? Will you be artistic like me, or into math and science like your father? Will education be easy for you, or will you have to work hard to get good grades? Will you make friends easily, or be shy and withdrawn? What are you going to be when you grow up? Are you going to pursue a college education like I started to do, or drop out of high school like your father did? Your father and I both went to Job Corps, but will you need to make use of Social Welfare when you are older? If you do go to college, will you finish, or drop out like I did? Will you grow up to be wise with your money, or spend it without care? Will you be clumsy like me? Will you have your father’s sense of humour? I hope you have your father’s nose. Honestly, I don’t care what you look like; I will love you no matter who you become, but in the months preceding your birth, I have nothing to do but contemplate the essence of you. One thing I know for sure is that your father and I both love you very much, and always will. When you are born, we will be waiting for you with open arms and open minds to help you achieve greatness. Love always, your mother, Ashley Ann Allee. Brooks And Dunn–School bus driver in a traffic jam starin’ at the faces in her rearview mirror, looking at the promise of the Promised Land. One kid dreams of fame and fortune; one kid helps pay the rent; one could end up going to prison; one just might be president.

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