Being pregnant is entirely different from being a parent. Not just the care and attention that goes into keeping him alive and healthy, but the feelings you have for the little being growing in your belly versus actually meeting him.
It’s an incredible emotional time for me and only partly due to hormones. I’ve cried every day just looking at him and knowing that we made him and that we get to keep him. I’m just so full of love for this little person that it physically hurts. It’s a feeling that I never expected and I feel you can never be fully prepared for – that this little person I grew inside my body is so full of potential.
So, Shai Aleksander Chmerkovskiy, even though I haven’t been your mommy for very long, I’m already in awe of you. As you get bigger and learn more and do more, here’s what mommy hopes for you:
Through injury and illness, I’ve learned to never take my body for granted. And even though these things are inevitable, I hope you lead a long and healthy life.
I hope you live a happy life filled with laughter, love and purpose. You’re barely a week old and you’ve already brought immeasurable joy to so many people’s lives – especially your mommy and daddy’s. You are so incredibly loved, you know that? And even though you will feel sadness and anger, I’ll do my best to make sure they’re far outnumbered by moments of silliness, joy, laughter, hope, surprise and, above all, love.
You’re a lucky little boy who will have many toys and clothes because your mommy and daddy have worked very hard and been very lucky themselves. Because of that, you will have many amazing opportunities in your life – ones that a lot of other children won’t have. I hope you appreciate this privileged start and work hard for every success that comes after it.
When I was a little girl, I set an outrageous goal for myself – to be on the big stage in Hollywood. There were some who told me it wasn’t possible as a dancer and encouraged me to pursue something more realistic like being a doctor. But your mommy is a dreamer, and a worker, and a doer. I hope that you, too, fearlessly follow your dreams.
I know that you will be a determined little boy because, for better or worse, both of your parents are incredibly strong-willed and driven. With determination and hard work, you can have anything you want – but sometimes there will be setbacks and detours on your path to success. When those times come, I hope you will always know that your mommy and daddy will stand behind whatever decision you make. I will do everything I can to help you succeed and always be there if you fall.
I want to raise a person who will make the world a better place – someone who will look out for others and lead with compassion. I hope you will treat others with kindness.
Whether furry or feathered, wild or tame, weird or graceful, I hope you appreciate animals of all kinds, and treat them with respect for their independent spirits and the beauty they bring to the world.
One of the things I love most about your daddy is that he’s one of the most generous, kind-hearted people I’ve ever met. There are a lot of characteristics of his that I hope you inherit, but I especially hope you inherit his big heart and generous spirit.
And finally, selfishly, I hope you see us, your parents, as decent human beings. We want to be the kind of people you can admire, not because of what we’ve achieved, but because you know that we’re good people with good hearts whose greatest success will always be you.
Photo Credit: Stefania Orru