Dear Lorelei

Dear Lorelei,

You could arrive into your family any day now. Methinks you are hell bent on surprising us, but the joke is on you, sweet girl.
We’re ready for you.
We’re ready to hear your first cry. We’re ready to see your full head of hair. We’re ready to feel your teensy hands clasp around our giant fingers. We’re ready to change your thousands of diapers. We’re ready to rock you to sleep. We’re ready love love love you--in fact, we already adore you.
Let me tell you a little bit about your family.
You have a big sister named Charlotte, and she’s going to show you how to get past child safety locks, teach you your colors, and throw balls at you—probably nicely, but I can’t be sure, so stay alert. Charlotte refers to you as “Lorewei,” and practices your name a lot. She has renamed each of her baby dolls to "Lorewei" and talks to you through my tummy, urging you out. Charlotte is simply giddy to meet you. Each night, she checks your crib to see if you’re here yet, touches up your stack of diapers, and rocks your car seat back in forth. Little girl, I believe Charlotte will be your best friend for your entire life.
Next, there is Daddy. Lorelei, I don’t mean to brag, but I have picked out for you the very best daddy a little girl could ask for. He will work long hours to provide for you yet leave work before he’s done in order to pick you up from school. He’ll sneak you tiny sips of beer and coffee. He’ll hold and comfort you when you fall and scrape your knees, he’ll read you stories, he’ll clean up your spit-up and diarrhea, and he’ll fret at every fever and set his alarm to check on you hourly through the night when you’re sick. He’ll kiss your forehead when he thinks no one is looking, blow raspberries on your belly to make you laugh, and firmly hold your hand in parking lots, even when you try to break free. Daddy will carefully vet any potential mate you bring home, and if you find someone you like well enough, he’ll proudly walk you down the aisle some day (and turn a blind eye to the wedding budget). Daddy hasn’t met you yet, little girl, but believe me when I tell you that this man would give his life for you.
You also are lucky enough to have four grandparents who already love you. Your omi will tirelessly rock you for hours and hours and, when you’re old enough, bob along with you in the pool. She’ll teach you bouncy German songs and let you flip upside down so you squeal with glee, just like your sister and cousins. Your Grandpa Bill will shoot you sly looks and half-smiles, like the two of you are sharing a secret joke, and he’ll marvel at his fourth little grandgirl. Nana will read you countless stories--with the voices--and she'll bake cookies, color, and play house with you. She will brag about you to all her friends, and rightly so. Papa will assemble your toys for you, have tea parties with you, and teach you how to play every sport (except lacrosse, because that’s hardly ever played on the West Coast). He’ll try to take you hunting some day. You tell Mommy if she needs to intervene on that one.
And you have a mommy. My girl, it has pretty much been just you and me these past nine months. That has been my heartbeat you hear, and my voice. (Except when Daddy does his scary “Lorelei Hofmann, I AM YOUR FATHER” voice against Mommy’s tummy. Also, he’s the one annoying you with the flashlight.) Have you heard the music played on the piano? Sometimes I was playing just for you. Little Lorelei, you were very much wanted, and when I found out that you had grabbed on and decided to grow, I smiled for days. Soon you’re going to leave my body, and though I can’t wait to meet you, I’ll miss having you all for myself. Like Charlotte, you're my girl.
When you’re ready, be born. Be born and complete your family.


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