A letter to Baby Belcher II

Baby Belcher two. Our precious, strong, fiery child. We are excited to meet you. We dream of who you will become, and we talk about how we can help you get there. When daddy and I go on walks we both dream you will have dark eyes and dark hair, like mommy. We imagine a quiet child, with fire deep in her belly. A good fire, yearning to take lead.

Dear child, you are coming into the world at a tough time.

A few months ago, a big sickness hit the whole world. To keep each other safe, we stayed inside for a long time. We tried to only go outside for food or if we really needed to get something. It was a scary time for the whole world, and many people got very sick. Many more people lost jobs, and homes.

More of the world also learned that people with darker skin are not always treated well or fairly. A man named Mr. Floyd was killed by a police officer, mostly because Mr. Floyd’s skin color was different. Because the whole world had just sat together in sickness, we finally saw this event differently. People from all over our country stood together to say, “Stop treating people this way because they look different.”

I wish I could lie and tell you you’re being born during a time of peace. I guess, in a way, you are. Mommy, daddy, and Carly have had many peaceful moments at home. However, many more big and small people are fighting. A few great leaders have helped along the way, but other big leaders have made these days harder and longer than necessary.

The truth is, little girl, right now the world is on fire. It burns with sick people, mean people, and with years of those with less yearning for more.

My little girl, do not fear the fire. See it, listen to it, and learn to dance with it. Take it in your hands, and use it to make our world better for as many people as possible. Be a queen. Lead. Listen. Be humble. And see that after the fire and smoke – there will be great stillness.

Daddy and I will lead you through the stillness. But it’s your job to take charge on the other side. Take hold of this earth, replenish it, and subdue it. Your time is today, and it always will be.

Maternity pictures

It has been very strange being pregnant the last few months. A pandemic, protests, a continent on fire, and so much more I’m simply forgetting in this moment.

To be honest, it’s scary thinking about giving birth mid-pandemic. I worry that in my last few weeks I may get sick, and have to be separated from a newborn. Our family has gone to great lengths to stay safe. We’ve bought all of our food online, we haven’t hung out at anyone’s house, and we’re wearing masks wherever we go. If you had told me in 2020 we would be living through a pandemic I’m not sure I would have believed you. I studied the Spanish flu in school, never thinking I’d see parallels of it in my own lifetime.

We have also been incredibly fortunate in many ways. Del and I have both been able to work from home. At work I’ve been thrust into data on the pandemic. It’s both stressful and fascinating. Del’s parents moved to Jackson right before the pandemic hit. Grammy has been able to watch Carly since schools and daycares are closed. I’m incredibly grateful for this extra time we have had with family.

Tomorrow I’ll be 38 weeks pregnant. I got Carly out of bed today and sat with her. I looked at her and cried, thinking that it wasn’t long before she was no longer our only child. I’m going to miss all of the time we had with just her. Thank you Carly for teaching me how to be a mommy. You are more than I ever dreamed.

Yet, we’re also incredibly excited for our second child to come into this world. I’m sure there will be difficult times, but I know there were also be so much joy. Who doesn’t love baby snuggles?

Like we were able to do with Carly, my talented husband Del took maternity photos. A COVID maternity photoshoot. Although it’s hard to tell, downtown Jackson is fairly empty. Even though it’s empty, it sure is beautiful.

Dear Baby Belcher two, we are all excited to meet you soon.