Life happens: Letter to my unborn child

By Aprill Brandon
Sept. 12, 2013 at 4:12 a.m.

Dear My Unborn Child,

So, uh, hey, I guess. How are you? I'm fine. Yup. Um, so how 'bout them Red Sox, huh?

Sorry this is so awkward. Truth be told, we hardly even know each other. I mean, all I really know about you currently is that you are violently opposed to Chinese food, and all you really know about me is that I eat way too much cheese. So this whole trend just seems a bit ridiculous.

Oh wait, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about, what with you being busy forming eyeballs and a pancreas and all. Let me fill you in real quick. Apparently, in this day and age, any parent or parent-to-be with a keyboard and a Starbucks Wi-Fi password is required to write some cheesy letter to their future offspring and then publish it in a public forum.

The general goal of this exercise, at least as far as I can tell, is to express their hopes and dreams for the said child and to make random people repost the link on Facebook along with comments like "This is soooo true. I'm totally wiping away the tears after reading this."

Now, normally I am not one to blindly follow the crowd (regrettably jumping on the Twilight bandwagon notwithstanding), but I'm on deadline and need something to write about anyway, so, eh, why not? What could it hurt? (Except for your fragile young psyche and self-esteem, that is.)

So, I guess to start off with, the first thing I'd like to tell you is that I never want to hear you say you want to be famous when you grow up. (Want to know the quickest way to break your Momma's heart? Star in a reality TV series). Now, that's not to say I don't want you to be successful or rich, powerful. Go for it. Influential? Hell yes. Be the white Oprah, baby.

But don't just aim to be "famous." You know who's famous? Kim Kardashian and Grumpy Cat. Who are they, you ask, since you are probably reading this at least five to eight years in the future? Exactly.

I know I don't know your gender yet, but if you happen to be a girl, don't ever say you deserve to be treated like a princess. This is 'merica, sweetheart. People died so we wouldn't have to deal with princesses anymore. And if you happen to be a boy, never date a woman or a gay man who thinks they deserve to be treated like a princess. You want a partner in life, not someone who buys pink tutus for their dog.

Be a nerd. Oh please, please be a nerd. Or a geek. I'll settle for geek. Because nerds and geeks end up being the best people.

Don't sexually assault anyone. Ever. I know that might seem like an odd thing to say or even something that goes without saying, but considering the scary large number of rapes that happen every year, it's obvious not enough parents are teaching their kids to not rape anyone.

Don't be "that" guy. And if you happen to be in a crowd of people and don't see "that" guy, then you are "that" guy. And we need to have a long talk about where your father and I went wrong.

Enjoy all things in moderation. Except for cheese 'cause cheese is awesome.

Don't do drugs. It's such a cliche.

My child will never be a line-jumper. You hear me? One of the things that makes this country so great is our superb standing in line skills. And I will not have you sullying the efforts of our forefathers who had to beat up countless line-jumpers in order to give us the freedom to stand in line today without worrying about some brat trying to break the rules.

Be kind to animals. Because if you're not, I'm going to have countless sleepless nights when I worry that you'll grow up to be a serial killer.

Above all, I want you to be happy. Although preferably happy and with a really well-paying job so that you can buy Daddy and me our dream retirement home in New Zealand.

Now, typically these things end with some grand pronouncements of how much I love you and always will and how I loved you before I knew you and you are my heart and other flowery crap and glitter and unicorn farts.

Which is all true, of course.

But you know that already. Or at least you will.

So let's end it instead in a style much more suited to our family:

If you keep making me fart every time I sneeze, I swear to all that is holy, I'll ground you until you start kindergarten.



Aprill Brandon is a columnist for the Advocate. Her column runs every two weeks in the Your Life section. Comment on this story at



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