April 14, 2010

Dear Heidi Chase...

First of all, welcome to all four and a half pounds of you. You may seem small, but already, you seem bigger than life. Your arrival is something we have been looking forward to, this goes without saying. You are the reality of something we have, until today, only dreamed about.

But it sure was a surprise that you showed up when you did.

Congratulations. You upstaged your brother. At 9:30 in the morning on April 14th 2010, you arrived. In a state of hurried panic on the part of your parents, you arrived even when we were saying aloud to ourselves that ‘now is not your time.’ You had other ideas, and indeed, there was no stopping your entrance. What’s more, you showed up in a hospital, which was not the plan. You were supposed to be born comfortably at home eight weeks from now. But, what should we expect. It was your brother’s plan to be born at a hospital, but he was born at home, early. So, go figure; we respect your right for independent thought and action.

Gestationally speaking, let it be know that you decided it was showtime at 32 weeks. This, for the record, is more than just a tad early. Your brother Sacha…he was a ‘tad’ early at 37 weeks. You, our adorable little beauty with your velvety soft skin and crop of dark hair, are ‘way’ early. But, as an Aries—a Ram, no less—it would seem that you needed to have it your way.

The prospects of what your astrological sign may make you both thrills and horrifies. Gung-ho and enthusiastic; fearless as the gods (yahoo!), but an ego and lack of pragmatism to boot (uh-oh).

But the better parts of your sign make you an ideal candidate for what you’re dealing with right now.

Your tiny cries haven’t been heard by many ears yet, nor will they for a few weeks perhaps, until you’re allowed to come out of the hospital. We’ve got to get you up to speed on a few things you weren’t prepared for, like how those lungs work, and how to eat food. You’ve got a few tubes in you at the moment, but don’t worry about those. You’ve got the grit to take care of that situation.

By being born under Aries, being courageous and forceful, you will forge your way ahead in this. With this new endeavor called ‘life’ undertaken, you’ve got the goods to make it through a tough few days and you’ll come out shining.

Now, this may sound like we’re hinting at something very dire, but it’s really not that bad. You just need a kick start, and then you’ll be fine. You're in great shape, especially compared to some of your roommates. Always count your blessings, little Heidi, remeber that. Really, we as your parents just don’t want to see you connected to monitors, and we want to hold you. Soon enough. And then you’ll start discovering what this life is all about.

As we told Sacha when he was born, this is a great world to be a part of. People care, most of the time, and don’t be afraid to let them in to raise you up when you need the help, just like your doctors and nurses are doing for you now.

Life can be like that, you know. Just when you think things are awful and frightening, you get surrounded and carried to a better place. May you know the comfort of rescue when it’s needed and it comes, and may you know the feeling that comes from being some else’s rescuer, too.

And while we’re on the subject of rescue, maybe we can just ask you to make sure you do some good in this world. On little scales, on big scales, whatever. Just do things that make you happy and proud of yourself. Oh, but the same comment applies to you as what we told Sacha on the day he arrived: if you want to be a champion at something, make sure it pays well, so that you can fund our retirement for us.

Lets talk about your names for a second. Heidi: there is no significance; it’s just a great name and we know you'll wear it well. Ballem, on the other hand, is more significant. It is your mother’s maiden name. It comes from your Grandy’s side of the family. If it brings to you what it has to others who carry the name, then we can be fairly sure you’ll be brilliant, charming and attractive. Which reminds your father… he’s going to go out and buy a new Louisville Slugger right now, for use in scaring off potential suitors when you get to your teenage years…

So anyway, it’s hard to say where to go with all of this. Need it be said aloud, your arrival today was about as big a surprise as we could’ve imagined. There is joy at your arrival mixed with a melancholy for not yet being able to hold you and seeing you hooked up to machines. The day was melancholic to begin with, which you might later understand: April 14th is the day your Granddad lost his battle to cancer, three years before you were born, so the fact that you chose to show up on just this date…well, lets just say there is a whole ‘nother circle of life conversation that could be had over this whole affair.

But we don’t need to focus on the death side of things today, now that we have your new life. Your joyful life, just begun and soon to flourish. And we can’t wait to watch it happen before our eyes. Early as your arrival may have been, we are so glad you’re here.

Love always,
Your parents
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