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we finally got a bookshelf this week and a dining room table – now we’re eating like real adults instead of crouched over the coffee table watching tv (james is totally bummed). but beyond our eating habits, this means i can unpack and organize the last three boxes that have been sitting next to the futon in our “guest room” (can you really call it that if its only contents are a futon, a few boxes and the vacuum cleaner?).

in doing so, i found this letter and wanted to write it down here so i didn’t lose it:

                                                                       10th january, 2012

dearest one,

this morning i am the ‘invigilator’ (yes, i had to look up that word) at a university exam here in cologne, where you were born. this is quite commonplace. being a teacher, i’ve often sat at the head of a classroom for an hour and a half watching students write their exams and sometimes try to cheat, which i’m sure you’ll never do. it’s usually pretty boring. sometimes, i bring a book. often, i have other exams to mark (or grade? i don’t know where we’ll be living or what ‘language’ you’ll speak). however, there has always been one exam period, usually the first of the exam ‘season’ where i forget a book (or it’s my first time with those students, and it just wouldn’t be appropriate) and then i have nothing to do. at those times, i have always written a letter to my grandmother, your great-grandmother. 

this time, i sat down and for the first time since her death last month (or november, i suppose), i had no one to write my letter to. for a moment, i was sad, and i missed my grandmother. but i knew how happy she was at our wedding (your father’s and mine) and how much she would have loved you.

cologne is finally feeling more like home – especially as it gets closer and closer to the day (whatever day that will be) when you will be with us. we’ve just signed the lease on our new house, which will be your first house. and though the outside isn’t as charming as i’d want, i know it will be filled with so much love and happiness that you’ll never notice and you’ll make me forget entirely. i’m also starting to make friends. i don’t know if you’ll be more like me or your dad, but either way, you’ll understand some day how important that really is, especially to me. 

this winter has been extremely rainy and quite cold. again, i don’t know where we’ll be living. you might be used to the cold and laugh at me (like your dad), or maybe, you’ll be like me – a sun baby. this christmas, my parents came to visit and we drove to england to visit dad’s parents too. though it was a lot of fun, you have made me quite sensitive to motion sickness and so, in the car and on the ferry, i didn’t feel so good. 

my mother and father are selling their house and buying another, which will never bother you because you’ll probably love running around their land with rocky and getting all dirty and scratched up in the wood (well, i’m not sure if you can say ‘wood’ in the desert). you’ll also never know how close they used to live to the ocean, and though i’m sure i’ll annoy you by telling you all about my memories of the old house, they won’t mean as much to you because you’ll never get to see the beautiful garden your grandfather loved (though i’m sure he’ll have one in the new house) or really understand how cold it got in that house, even though it was san diego.

i suppose, maybe unfortunately, i don’t know, you’ll probably be like me and your dad. though he moved cities more (from cardiff to manchester to london – he’ll tell you all about it), we both moved around a lot as kids. i suppose you will have us beat, though. even wales to england isn’t quite the same thing as germany to wherever we move next. and i desperately hope that i stick to my guns and that you are at least bilingual, though i know it won’t be easy, unless we’re here in germany long enough. i want you to speak spanish, though i don’t even speak it enough to practice anymore. though you may not feel it or care (and i’ll try not to take it personally), both of these languages and cultures in many ways have contributed to your father and me being together, and therefore, to you and your development.

anyway, baby, for once you aren’t kicking me, though normally you’re a little quieter in the mornings – maybe you’ll take after me? i hope so. your mom likes to sleep!

i love you very much and can’t wait to see you on thursday for our twenty week scan.

                                                                                  ❤ ❤ ❤