June 23, 2008

Dear Sacha James Chase,

First of all, welcome to all 6 lbs, 12 oz. of you. Your arrival is something we have been looking forward to for more than nine months. What’s more, you are finally the reality of something we dreamed about years ago. You arrived kicking and screaming on June 22nd, 2008 at 11:29 in the PM (delivered to us on our own bathroom floor, much to our great surprise,but that's another story) and while we won’t care much to put up with that kind of noise when you’re a bit older, rest assured the first time we heard it, it was the most incredible sound in all the world.

And what a world it is. Your mom and dad enjoy being here, but make no mistake; it’s no perfect place to be. People do pretty nasty things to one another sometimes. There’s guns and bombs that get used on our planet, and they hurt. People use words against each other, too, and those can hurt just the same as weapons. At times, you might think they hurt even worse.

There’s political strife all over the place. Starvation and poverty in parts of the world you’ve never heard of and may never go to. There’s poverty at home, too. We have disparity between rich and poor, obvious to the extreme just blocks away from where you were born. Our environment is increasingly at risk. We are all too reliant on machines that fill the air with fumes, too reliant on conveniences that fill our dumps with garbage that will outlast you a thousand, thousand times over. Old, white men control way too much of the world’s wealth and power. Men in general hold more wealth and power still.

There are all kinds of religions out there: one God, many Gods, no Gods… people have all sorts of opinions and beliefs, and sometimes they fight over them. Believe in one if you want, or not. Be sure to believe in yourself though, that’s important. As for what your parents believe? You’re a miracle, and miracles don’t come from nowhere.

Let’s talk sports for a second. There are all sorts of games to be played. We don’t need you to be a champion at any of them, but you have to have fun, and you have to play your whole life through. We’re pretty sure you need to at least try kayaking—it’s kind of in the family. Afterthought: if you want to be a champion at something, make sure it pays well, so that you can fund our retirement for us.

Your names: What’s in a name, Shakespeare mused (you’ll learn about that guy sometime down the road) Well, in your case, your first name we just liked the sound of. the second name, James, is pretty common on your dad's side of the family, but mostly, it is a tribute to the grandfather that you will only be able to know through spirit and story, but know him you will. We hope you possess many of his better qualities.

I don’t want to ramble on too long with this, so let me throw a whole bunch of things at you at once:

People will come and go from your life. Some will be your best friends, some will be friends that seem to come and go, some people won’t like you at all and you won’t like other people. The latter of these people will eventually go away, though, so don’t sweat it too much. Some people you will want to have with you, always, but they will go none the less. They might die, or they might move, and it hurts, but that’s just how it is. Some people will not leave physically, but they will leave emotionally. They might stop loving you, or you might stop loving them. And you know what? It’s all okay. Love is never a mistake, and whether you’re diving into it or falling out of it, it’s getting you to where you need to end up.

Oh, there are these other people. People we call ‘family’. Some are immediate, like us as your parents, others are extended. They are the best people and worst people all rolled into one. And unlike other people, they do not go away. We will leave it at that, and let you experience it for yourself (not to worry, kiddo, it’s pretty much all good!).

Random thoughts: Eat your vegetables, they're good for you. Buy Local if you can. Don't be afraid of dogs; they'll just smell your fear and bark at you. scraped knees hurt, but they heal, so feel free to get a little reckless now and again (not too much though!). Your mother brought you into this world drug-free. Return the favour by staying that way, or we'll ground you for life. Ask your mom for math and science homework help, ask your dad for finger painting and creative writing help.

alright, I'm rambling back on track.

The natural world around you is an incomprehensible wonder. No matter how emotionally wrecked you may be at some point, no matter how frustrated you may be with the way the world is being run, no matter how hopeless existence may seem at times, the right sunrise, sunset, or long gaze up at the stars on a clear night, can stop you in your tracks, and make you forget everything you ever hated about life.

You will pass through moments that are surreal, wonderful moments. It may be a mental stimulus that puts you there, or physical, or spiritual. It may be all those things at once. You may share it with other people around you, or you may have that moment all to yourself, and you will feel blessed to have it just for you. And yet, you wish you could share that moment with the entire world.

Seeing the arrival of your child into the world is perhaps one of those moments.

But now we’re getting ahead of ourselves, aren’t we? We have a bit of time to get to know each other before that’s something that you’ll experience. For now, that surreal, wonderful moment belongs to us.

Love always,
Your new parents
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