To my son Adam on your 36th week of gestation.

You’re fully baked. Well done. I started writing this letter from a cafe in Amsterdam’s city centre, with a lovely view of all the tourists marching from the train station to the red light district, you were 28 weeks then and considered viable. Cafe Kapershoek has been keeping vigil at the stoner pilgrimage since 1606, an unfathomably long time. I hope you see it one day, but that’s not really the point of this letter.

I’ve been fortunate enough to see many of the wonders this world has to offer and sometimes my appetite for adventure has interfered with my ability to be a functional human. Never let this happen to you. Rather love. Love with all your being. I try every day to do that, but my nature doesn’t fully allow. I’m an observer by nature and then can’t fully interact because I must always keep a critical distance.   

Start by loving your mother dearly. You’ll find it easy most times, but she can be difficult when she has her mind set on something. As I wrote that I realised that you can’t not love your mother dearly, you’ll be wholly dependent on her for a few months and you already share a bond deeper than I can ever understand. You’ve heard her heart and felt every rush of hormones as she flitted through the rollercoaster of pregnancy. There are some endorphins and pulsating heart rates that I wish you couldn’t feel, but we’re all mature enough to understand that it’s a package deal – my apologies for the prodding.

Your sister is very excited to meet you, but I don’t think she can fully understand the lifestyle changes your arrival will bring, but she has proven to be highly adaptable before and I’ll just spoil her with some extra love while you leech off your mother. I think you’ll like Isla. She’s smart, brave, articulate and as stubborn as they come. She’ll teach you more than I’ll ever know and will be loyal to a fault. I hope the two of you will form a close relationship and share many secrets.

If you don’t feel 100% love from delivery day, don’t take it personally. Your mom and I never really planned to have any children, but we seem to take to the operational bit of child rearing pretty well. You’ll be fed, bathed and rocked to sleep every night for the first couple of weeks, but the mass outpouring of love will within the first week.

Look, we’re stuck with each other, so we may as well make the best of it. I’ll give you reasonable room to grow into yourself and your mother will shout at you a lot if you don’t do exactly what she says, but overall we’re pretty chilled. Don’t try play on our emotions or throw tantrums to get your way because, for now, you really don’t know what’s best for you. Just eat and nap when we tell you to and you’ll be fine.

That’s pretty much my recipe for a happy, even tempered child: eat and nap. I insist on this because you’ll then be firing on all cylinders during the waking times and learn quicker. You’re a manchild, so you have to learn very quickly. Think of it as a survival tactic.

You’ll be fine. And for what it’s worth, I love you. 


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