to my someday second daughter

Some days are the days to write to the children you might not have. But you love even just the fleeting glimpse of the life that might sail past you, that might not be yours, but it is so fleeting and so beautiful that you must write something down.

Dear one,

I write this to you in the early morning of what already promises to be a long, full, grey day. I write in the helplessness of writing, knowing that these words are far away from the people we will be if, and when, we meet in the future. I write as the overwhelming sounds of Mumford & Sons and Bon Iver wash through my small space. I write because I don’t know how else to think, sometimes.

I pray that you might catch this restless, big love – whether yours is words or sounds or soccer. I hope with the Anne Sexton that those I love will live in a fever of love. I pray that in the space of our life together, my sweet girl, there will be an abundance of this.

It is the restless loves that sustain us, daughter. The ones that hammer away at us. The voice that says we must. I am at the beginning of learning this restless love. I am making a moment of peace with it this morning, and so I am writing to you, whispering in the silence of the life-not-yet-lived that these loves grow with us, always ahead of us. My love of writing and my frustration with writing, my love of philosophy and my contempt of my fumbling attempts. You will laugh when you find my notes on Gadamer in the book I bought a few months ago, because you’ll then realize your mom makes a fool of herself chasing down an idea. The scribbles alone will give you and your siblings hours of laughter trying to figure out what I meant by “sig?” “but if hermeneutic…” or the very funny, “NO! Wait. No?”.

I hope someday we are sitting in the study reading, and you ask me why when I was 22 I said I was like Eowyn, Lizzy Bennet, Anne of Green Gables and Atalanta. And then, we’ll pull each other close and begin to read together, and learn how we live in the worlds and characters we love. And then Dad will bring us cups of tea as he always does, the old ritual, and you will fall asleep near me, and I will read out loud to the night, to the dog, for the sheer goodness of those words.

Oh, it will be a life of restless, relentless love. It will be this love, and nothing less, that creates fullness. It does not mean you need to be reckless always, or that you cannot also be steady, sure on your feet, rooted and growing in all directions. It only means that we are always pushed forward to the greater, more wondrous thing by these loves that move ahead of us, clearing the path, always asking more of us than we think we can give. When you whisper about how much you love the things you love, how you ache with it, remember that these are the moments of the making of you.

What a joy you will be, love. What a wonder. What a gift.

hilary (your someday mom)



One thought on “to my someday second daughter

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