This old letter now haunts me. I wrote to my son and I wrote it to myself. 6 1/2 months of Christy being pregnant with Brave, myself being pregnant with fear and jubilation of his arrival. I sat down and wrote us a letter. This sentence from the letter mocks me often,
"I hold you lightly my son, if you need to leave, to explore your world and your deep crevasses of your soul you can, my arms and home will always be yours when you choose to return.”
Little did I know what this now has come to mean…
Dear Jackson Brave Bauman,
Let me first start by telling you how excited I am to meet you. I have dreamed of what you will look like, act like and what type of man you will become. You have been growing in your mother’s womb for about 6 ½ months now, I bet it nice in there. You are expected to enter into this world sometime near November 30th 2011. I wanted to write and you tell you a few things to anticipate when you enter this scary glorious world of ours.
I am terrified to raise you. I am trying to work through my story around my father, your grandfather. He was not a good man, a coward and has been a continuous source of deep pain in my life. This will inevitable impact you. I have fought so hard to allow myself to be fathered by others, to father myself, and allow our God to heal those infant places of my soul. Much has been healed but many tender scares remain. Growing up feeling deeply orphaned I tried to blaze my own path. Sadly my own orphan state and the decisions I made in light of that state will impact you greatly.
This path took many dark and unaccompanied turns. Loneliness and fear drove me to brokenness, deep heartache, and betrayal within myself and many I was in relationship with. Because of this damaged road I too fear for your journey. I already feel my propensity to guard you, to try protect you from this fallen world, and not let you be free. Yet none of us can escape evils reach. You will be hurt. You will be betrayed by those you love the most. My grasp for control over your life is only a reminder for me open my hands wider. A calling to trust a God I wrestle to believe in.
You are deeply loved and covered. No matter what you choose, where you go, what you do, no matter how much you shatter my heart, you are madly and unconditionally loved. I hold you lightly my son, if you need to leave, to explore your world and your deep crevasses of your soul you can, my arms and home will always be yours when you choose to return.
Your name. Your name holds much honor and legacy. Jackson is after your mother’s grandparents, “Mema & Awpa”. They are stunning people. Their love and depth of spirit is gift to behold. Your mother’s life was saved and raised by their love and a monumental reason why she is the disorienting light she is today. Brave. Brave is a name I have held close to my heart for nearly a decade. I feel like it was a new name given to me by God, a new name. A name I longed to live into and continue to learn the fullness of its meaning. I bestow this name on you now my son, not as some sort of pressure to live “up” to but a name to “rest” into. You already are “Brave” and resting into your name will be a reverent journey I look forward to being a part of.