A Letter to My Unborn Child: What You Should Know About My Stutter
Dear son or daughter,
First off, I can’t wait to meet you! I already love you immensely and unconditionally.
A fact you need to know about me: I stutter.
What that means is it may take me a few extra seconds to say something. I may make some noises before I talk or my mouth might be open, but no noise comes out. When I stutter, I may or may not make eye contact with you. I’ll make weird facial expressions when I stutter. Despite that, there is nothing wrong with stuttering.
I am not a bad or evil person because I stutter, nor am I lying. When I stutter it’s not because I’m nervous, excited or anxiety-ridden. I tell you this because you may hear these things about stuttering and what causes stuttering. I want to tell you that all of those are wrong. Stuttering is just something that happens when I talk. There is nothing wrong with stuttering. My stutter has taught me numerous lessons and given me opportunities I could never have imagined.
With that said, I hope you do not have to deal with stuttering. I say this not because it would affect how I love you or how much I love you because it won’t, but out of love for you, I don’t want you to go through what I went through. I don’t want you to be filled with self-doubt every time you talk. I don’t want you to be afraid of or avoid speaking out in class, talking on the phone and ordering your meal at a restaurant. I don’t want you to be constantly thinking about what the person on the other side is thinking about you and your stutter. I don’t want you to be picked on in school because of your stutter. I don’t want people to think you are unintelligent, lying or a bad person because you stutter. I don’t want you to experience the insecurities I went through.
But if you do stutter, great! You have someone I didn’t have in my life: someone close to you who gets what it means to stutter and all of the mental and emotional “stuff” that comes with it. In me, you have someone who can help and guide you through all of the stuff stuttering can bring into a person’s life. There are a few things I need to tell you about your stutter. The first is: you can control it, it doesn’t have to control you. Secondly, you dictate your future, your stutter does not. Finally: you always were, always are, and always will be so much more than your stutter.
Regardless of if you stutter or not, I will always be behind you win or lose, fluent or not, on good days and bad. I will be your advocate, cheerleader, encourager, and whatever else you need. I can’t wait to meet you and see the world through your eyes.
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Getty image by tamaravidmar