Dear Gunner…

Gunner Xavier,


Bringing you into this world has been the most magical and challenging experience of my entire life. I’m not even talking about the way you’ve shifted my organs or stretched my skin or ruined any comfort that once existed in my back… ever. I’m referring to the complete gutting you’ve done of my identity. 


I write you this letter on June 25th, 2019– days (maybe hours, maybe moments, maybe breaths) away from my coronation. In God’s precious timing, you will enter this world and your father and I will go from who we thought we were to who we were always meant to be: your parents. We will wear this title like a crown until the day we die. Gunner’s Mom. Gunner’s Dad. 


We are so anxious to meet you. 


In anticipation of your arrival, we’ve made some drastic changes. We left our spacious townhome in downtown Columbus in favor of a one-bedroom apartment in the suburbs. It’s tiny and the ceilings are very tall and the smoke detectors are very sensitive but God has graciously made it feel like a castle of a home for us. I love the neutral wall color and stainless steel appliances. Your dad enjoys the safety that comes from only being responsible for 600 sq ft. I’ve hung framed photos of the people that I know talk to God about you and decorated to make it feel like  a family lives there… because, soon, one will. Living here allows us to save for the house you’ll one-day grow up in and to pay for the daycare we’ll have to put you in once we both go back to work. I don’t want to think about leaving you in the arms of strangers right now, though. Or the notion that you will probably never have a memory of your first home.

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Your father and I have also fast-tracked the journey of our love. We have abandoned dreams of weekend trips and wedding bells in favor of savings accounts and paying down debts– sacrifices we are all too elated to make. You’ve taught us the joy of laying down our right-nows for an even more beautiful tomorrow. Of sacrificial love. Everything we do– every thought we think, every breath we breathe, every motion we make toward the future– is for you and with you in mind. I fall deeper in love with him everyday, your father. He talks to you through my belly and loves to feel you wiggle and kick. Sometimes, on rainy weekend mornings, he’ll pull his acoustic guitar from the wall and sings us a song or two. His voice is velvety smooth. It’s the kind of voice that seems to make your heart beat faster and slower at the same time. I wonder what it sounds like to you under my skin. 


We are so anxious to meet you.


We did not realize it until recently, but we have been praying for you for years. On our second date we named you. In countless public places we’ve pointed out children that may or may not resemble what we are guessing you will look like. Children with couples that look like us. Brown and… less brown. White and not-so-white. We call them all “Gunners.” Beautiful little boys with brave smiles and curly hair and skin the color of your mother in the winter or your father in the summer. 


When we learned we were pregnant, we smiled. When they told us you were a boy, we cried. When we hold you in our arms, I imagine we’ll just die. At least, die to simply being Derek and Kelsea. But during your birth, we’ll also be reborn. Gunner’s mom. Gunner’s Dad.

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We are so anxious to meet you.

We are so anxious to meet who we will be with you in the world. 


All of my love,

Your Mom


2 replies to “Dear Gunner…

  1. I remember many years ago when my husband and I were expecting our first child. We were also young designer professionals working together and waiting to welcome our beautiful babe. Wondering what life brings us and how to balance, maintain our creative futures, be parents, and have time professionally and wondering if I could leave my new love to go back to work. I never dreamed in a million years I could love someone deeper than my love for my husband. But I did. God gave me more love power. A different kind. We just celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary and have 3 adult children. We are lucky. We still work together. We still go to art classes together. We still shop together. We still talk to each other. We talk or text with all 3 kids every day even though they are spread out all over the US. We still laugh. We still are working professional designers. But looking towards the back-end. I saw my young self in your words and it made me tearfully happy. You are special.

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