I’ve been blessed to be God Mother to two babies, who have both grown into wonderful women. My eldest god daughter – Elizabeth, the child of one of my closest childhood friends, is nearly 8 months pregnant with her first child. We know this craved for child is a girl. With the permission of her mother, this is the first of my letters to her unborn baby – Lily.
First of all I wanted to introduce myself. Although maybe you already know me, by voice, softly drifting into the warmth of your mother’s womb.
I’m your Auntie Sandra. How do you do? An honorary Auntie no less, but no less for all that. You see, we’re not related by blood, but I’ve known your mother for ever. Well, ever since before she was born, too.
As is now, I was the soft voice beyond the womb, then. The close friend and confidante of your grandmother – her mother in turn. So, in so many ways, I’m someone who knew your mother from the earliest of times.
Your mother was born before the time of Corona, the strange, up-ended one which you will soon find yourself part of. And though I’m two generations ahead of you, little Lily, I can vividly remember your mother’s entrance into the world.
She came early – as always doing things in her own softly determined way. As soon as I could, I made my way to the Special Care Baby unit of the maternity hospital. And there I met your mother – Elizabeth. Tiny, but thriving nonetheless.
I remember seeing little Liz, this side of the womb, for the very first time. She was lying in an incubuator, an unmistakably fully formed personality, looking back at me with the biggest pair of blue eyes, set in a tiny elfin face.
Your grandmother blew kisses at her tiny newborn daughter and told her she loved her. And so it was, that before I ever spoke to your mum, I burst into tears first…
It was tears that bought me to this page too Lily, to write to you. Because when I thought that I might not get to meet you too, in a physical way, for what could be a long, long time in the life of a baby, my eyes teared up again, but for sadder reasons this time…
But listen Lily, I’ve chosen not to cling to the sadness, since soon it will be your turn to make your way into the world. And before that happens, I wanted there to be a little legacy of a letter or two, waiting for you.
I asked your mother how she felt, being pregnant in the time of Corona and she told me that she wondered what kind of world she was bringing her child into.
That’s a natural protective concern, which so many mothers, along long millenia have felt too. Precious as you are, little Lily, you’re not the first baby to be born into a time of causality and uncertainty.
And there is your father too, loving you – even though he’s living on another continent, thousands of miles away. He so wants to be with you, my little love, but in this crazy enclosed time, a virus – something of microscopic size, but enormous magnitude, most likely means that he won’t be here to meet you on this side of the womb, very soon, either.
Whilst this all seems like such crazy, sad, uncertainty; as your great Aunt, I want you to know that actually there’s a whole lovely lot of certainty in your life, all ready and waiting to be embraced.
To begin with you already have four generations of living family who love you – quite literally spanning the globe. So that, my dear one, is already whole world of love.
You will discover that already you have great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins closely connected to you and caring greatly about you.
There are so many characters you will come to know in your family across the world. Some you will see yourself in and others – wonder at the differences.
And that’s just the humans – your grandmother and your mother both have a dog. And knowing those woofling, playful creatures, I can guarantee they’re waiting eagerly to be petted and played with, when the time safely comes. So you will know the love of animals, also.
As well as people there will be places to discover. Know that your first home is quietly waiting to welcome you. Your room is ready. I can tell you now that you will have warmth and food and clothes and toys.
When you arrive in this world, you’ll be cuddled by your mother and your grandmother, certain in their circle of love. And when the time of Corona has passed, you my child, will be passed from person to post, coo-ed at, adored and exclaimed over. Not just by a global DNA dynasty, but your mother’s myriad of friends, as well. And between the happy horde of family and friends, between us we’ll discuss who you look like; then rattle toys at you and play ‘peek-a-boo’, many, many times over.
We will watch you gain and grow and change, and be more you, every day. But know that already in a life short lived, Lily, that you are unique, special and cherished beyond reason.
And I don’t know if you will know of this time of Corona in a conscious sense. I’m trusting that this viral storm will pass and it will be relegated to that thing the oldies in your life will rattle on about – how you arrived when life was locked down and we all had to keep our loving distance.
That we do this is important. It’s my first gift to you, Lily, to keep my distance. And I’m doing it with a happy heart, because that’s what it takes to keep you as safe as can be.
And I’m still here, woven into the loving infrastructure of your world. We will just now have to do things differently from how we thought they would be.
One day we will most definitely meet and I’m storing a little stockpile of stories ready for when we have that first cuddle, exchange our first words and have that first ever game of peek-a-boo. And all of these things will be especially special, since we’ve earned them with our loving patience.
No doubt before that day we shall meet via the modern day miracle of video chat, although I’ve already got a sense of you from soft scanned images – grey, grainy and beautiful…
And as time goes on, I will chart your childhood with more photographs, just as I did with your mother – Liz, with her sister Jenny and brother, James.
And so, it goes Lily, on and on and nothing, not even Coronavirus will change all that.
Bye for now little one.
With much love from your
Auntie S xx
PS: Peek-a-boo!!! Just wanted to be the very first person who did that with you 😉 xxx