To My Unborn Child

To the unborn son I’ve never had, and never will:

I wish I could watch you play baseball. Especially when you’re a teenager. You’d be hell on the field, I just know it. Though your old man was an awful first baseman, he truly loves the game. Which, as it happens, is a lot like life.

But teenagers don’t know biscuits about life, and that goes double for you. I don’t mean to sound degrading, because I’ll bet you’re a pretty smart kid. I’m only saying it because adults don’t know much either. Take, for instance, this adult.

Don’t be ashamed of what you don’t know. You’re young, enjoy your naivety. You only get it once.

Another thing: do yourself a favor, avoid folks who don’t know where they’re going. People with dead smiles; who couldn’t cry if they wanted. They’re blind, and they’ll poke your eyes out if you’re not careful. Also, be wary of folks who enjoy praising themselves. They do it because they’re scared.

Don’t be scared.

I hope you like humility and hate the limelight. At parties, I want you to sit at the kids’ table, even when you’re in your mid-forties. Don’t talk about yourself, talk about others.

Always offer to help with the dishes.

The truth is, son, I don’t know a thing about life. But I do know that neither happiness, nor wealth, nor health are worth a damn compared to love. After all, no one can have all three. But you can always have love. In fact, sometimes that’s all you’ll have.

I’m talking about love that involves a girl who’s not afraid to call you a horse’s ass. Who eats pulled pork sandwiches on your tailgate because you can’t afford football tickets. Who cries easily and doesn’t mind seeing you cry. Everyone deserves that kind of love.

Even though I’ll never know you, I hope God sends your spirit to a happy family. One who believes in baseball.

And love.

I’m sorry it couldn’t be ours.