To My Son,
I knew you before you were even born. Everyone was so excited to meet you, but there you were, nestled sweetly under my heart (and pushing uncomfortably on my bladder and stomach) and I knew you. I knew your love of music, good books and the fact that you were just a little stubborn. I knew the way you liked to sleep and the fact that you were just a little silly. You were calm but your movements never seemed random, but instead, thought out and precise. Everyone was waiting to meet you and discover who you were and so was I. I didn’t realize, though, that I already knew who you as I had felt your first movements and innate stubbornness right from the very beginning.
From the very first, you did things on your own time with a flair for the dramatic. We found out we were pregnant with you, after I had signed several forms swearing I wasn’t pregnant. In fact, you were such a shock, that the doctor did the test 3 times and then confirmed with a blood test (and 3 more that week) to make sure you were growing ok. You were, and your dad and I were so excited. Your birth was also on your own time and dramatic (at least to my way of thinking) but that is a story for another time.
You’ve always loved to eat. I will admit I have always been a picky eater. In fact, the list of things that I generally won’t eat oftentimes seems longer than what I will eat, but I had been prepared to try and do balanced well-thought-out meals for my pregnancy. I didn’t want my food weirdness to affect you but something happened when I was pregnant with you, much of my food pickiness disappeared. I ate tuna, tried turkey, sushi and a variety and plethora of fruits and vegetables. I did nuts and cheese. I ate stuffed peppers, fish, pork, steak and chicken. I was always hungry, which was new to me, as I usually just ate a small lunch and dinner before. Looking back, though, this was all you. When you started solids you ate everything we gave you and wanted more. There was not a food you tried that you didn’t like, with the exception of squash and sweet potatoes. To this day, you will eat and try almost anything. In fact, your dinner last night was lemon garlic catfish with pea and parmesan risotto and you loved every bite.
You loved to dance and still do, but it has to be music with a great beat. In fact, you went to your first concert at 31 weeks. It was Train and you danced the whole time. In fact, the only time you stopped dancing that night was when your father took me in his arms and gently swayed me around to our song, Marry Me. Instead, you lay quietly and let us have a moment but right at the end of the song, you started dancing again. You have always been drawn to music. At 3 months you’d wave your arms and cooingly "sing" to the ABC Song or ABC Train from Mother Goose Club. At 6 months you’d manically wave and smile at “What Did The Fox Say?” Now, you dance crazily at “Try Everything” or anything that comes on TV that has a beat. You love movement and your mood is affected by the music we play, which is so much like your father it makes my heart swell.
You have always been calm. There were times that you would kick crazily within me, but more often than not it was just a slow rolling over to say “hi mom, I’m here”. I heard many mom friends of mine complain about the manic late night kicking or crazy gymnastics during the day. Although, you might get silly and crazy from time to time (namely, when you were hungry and attempting to let me know to feed you faster), you would often just gently bump around and say “hi”. I would rub my belly late at night, worrying, and you would move around inside slowly, calmly saying “here I am”. Now, your calmness is shown by listening attentively when we speak to you, by not getting upset with the word "no" but instead, by moving on to another activity and by really only crying and getting upset when you are hungry, need a diaper change or are hurting, primarily from teething but sometimes you fall down as you learn to walk.
You have always been stubborn. At 32 weeks, you decided that the best place for you to sleep was on the right side of the womb, curled with your head directly under my ribs and your feet planted seemingly right on top of my bladder. You would roll gently and exercise but to sleep, you would always assume the exact same position. It must have been comfortable. I would try and get you to move, physically push you away from that position trying to get you to last elsewhere, but you would always give me about a 10 minute break before slowly, moving back into your spot. When you flipped head-down around 36 weeks, you kept that spot, but just switched your feet and your head. Now, you are determined that there is always something behind the blinds that your dad and I continuously ask you not to touch and move, but this is one thing that you have set in your head and no amount of distractions, time outs or removing you from that situation seems to make much of an impact as 10 minutes later, you are back to trying to peer out the blinds.
You love movement and your mood is affected by the music we play, which is so much like your father it makes my heart swell.
You have always been William Lee. Your dad and I found out we were having a boy 12 weeks into the pregnancy. Before that, we had thrown around some names but nothing seemed right, we liked or didn’t like the names but none of them seemed to suit you. Then, I got the phone call that said you were a boy. I called your dad and he was so excited, you could literally hear him dancing through the phone. When I got home from work that day, your dad looked at me and said “I think we should name him William” and it just fit perfectly. Not only because William is a family name from both sides of your family (your maternal great-grandfather was William and your dad is a descendent of William the Conqueror) but because the name was so suited to you. William means resolute protector and strong willed warrior and those descriptions truly embody who you are and who I know you are going to be. You are strong willed or resolute, you know exactly what you want and let us know what it is, in your own way. I’ve watched you at daycare and although you are happy playing by yourself and with other kids, if anyone is hurt, falls or needs help you come running on your little pudgy legs to see what you can do. When you mom was really sick 2 weeks ago, you curled up with me in your tent to watch Zootopia and kept offering me your water. At one, you knew that we needed to have a calm day and went with it, instead of being your normal very busy self. Never let anyone tell you that your name doesn’t suit you, from the very beginning you have always been William Lee.
William, when you were finally here and everyone met you, they couldn’t help but instantly love you and as they got to know you and discovered who you were, they only fell more deeply in love. Never doubt how much of you was from the very beginning. Your dad, Noni, Papa, Grandma, Grandpa and I have the blessing of being able to watch you learn and grow – in knowledge, in confidence and yourself.
Yes, your mom knew you from the very beginning, but from the very beginning, you were always loved by everyone