Hanna Yost | To My Unborn Nephew

*Hanna Yost was selected as ZPlatt’s 2014 Featured Writer.

Monday, July 29th 2013 8:44 p.m.

Your father is a nervous wreck. He won’t say that he is, but I can tell. His phone call to me was frantic, spastic. Everyone’s been taking guesses as to your weight. Your father says, “Ten pounds,” with a smile. Your mother finds this less humorous than he does.

Your mother got in trouble for eating Doritos. I know that it’s a medical precaution, you know, in case something goes wrong with the stubborn babies, and they have to resort to surgery. But if you could see your mother right now, as she’s panting and cursing, you would want to let her eat all the Doritos she wants. You are five days late. In your mother’s opinion, you already are a stubborn baby. Plus, she was put on bed rest a week ago. Not even born yet and you’re giving her high blood pressure.

Your father’s wearing a Grateful Dead hoodie and eating beef jerky. Fear does not suit him. Pain does not suit your mother.

Everyone is excited for you. I am excited. But I’m also scared. I’m scared that there will be another human being in the world whom I cannot help but love. For you, there will be immediate, unconditional love. I won’t have time to adapt. And maybe that’s the way love for a baby is supposed to be.

I think it’s interesting that babies are the only ones like that. With anyone else, love builds over time. But babies–it’s instantaneous love. You just–you don’t even get a say in it.

And if you weren’t a baby, if you weren’t a bundle of infinite potential, if you weren’t so painstakingly pure, people might resent you for this instantaneous love that you—not demand but inspire. You little love-inspiring thing.

My heart is always expanding for the men who enter my life. But you are remarkable. You are different. And I can confidently say that you are deserving of all my love. I can say that knowing that I will never want to take it back.

I wonder if you will have any musical talent. I wonder if you will have skin that tans, like your mother’s, or if you will burn when put in the sun for ten minutes, like your father and I.

Your mother’s not big on jewelry. She never really wears earrings. Less for you to grab at, little one. Ah, but her hair, those long brown locks could rival Rapunzel on a good day. I can picture you grabbing miniature fistfuls of that.

I heard you’ve been hiccoughing in the womb. Maybe you’re tipsy on the love you can feel even from inside her belly. I don’t know if you’re ready for this. All this noisy love.

You’ve been named Jacob. Your parents are Thomas and Jennifer. They’re both surprisingly laid back and yet also very cranky individuals. I hope, with a hint of mischief, that you might be a cranky baby. That way whenever you act up and one of them tries to blame the other, saying, “Oh, well, he’s your son,” I can say it’s a combination of their genes. I can remind them that you are a recipe made from their eyes, their taste buds, their best and worst qualities. You were made from scratch.

You were born at 2:03 in the morning. You greeted the world with wide eyes. You are the best love ballad two people have ever sung.


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