An Open Letter to my First-Born
My dearest son,
A little over six years ago, I had always imagined how I would ever get used to saying the word son. I would imagine myself at the doctor’s office for your first appointment telling the nurse at the front desk that I was there for an appointment for “my son.” I imagined the nurse looking at me as if I had lost my marbles. As if I did not have the credentials needed to be a mother. Maybe I needed a nametag or a sign to prove I had earned motherhood.
But then it came time for your first appointment, I walked up to that desk and looked at the nurse square in the eye and told her, “I have an 8:30 appointment for my son.” And just like that the words rolled off my tongue and a warmth tingled my every bone as the confidence and adrenaline overcame me. But it wasn’t because I had just said “son” but the “my” that came before it and the magic that those two words created. You were my son. God had given you to me to raise.
You were all mine.
We mothers are up in the clouds sometimes. We don’t pass up a chance to tell about our gory birth stories, the struggles we endured to become a mother. We frequently enjoy debates boasting about whose child is more troublesome; the number of hours we stay up at night; who has to clean up the worst blowouts. We complain endlessly about the difficult lives we have been bestowed with all while we are secretly gloating with pride thinking we have totally lived up to the word mother.
But if these six beautiful years have taught me anything it is that I was never entitled to this position. It wasn’t something that I did, worked for, or even deserved.
The reason that I am who I am today is you.
Without you I would never be a mother.
Without you I wouldn’t be able to boast about the so-called struggles of motherhood.
Without you there is no me.
You, my sweet boy are my first-born.
You were the first hear my heart beat from inside.
The first to experience my love as a mother.
You were the first to call me mama.
The first to show me what I was truly capable of.
But that was not the only thing you were the first of.
You were my trial and error, my rough draft.
You were and always will be my practice until the perfect.
On you I calibrate motherhood.
You were the first to see my strictness as a mother.
You were the one on whom I practiced discipline.
Only you saw the epitome of helicopter mom.
You are the bearer of all my mistakes
It was you who saw me fail and breakdown but it was also you who taught me to succeed.
Many a nights go by when I sit by your head listening to your soft breaths as you sleep while I count.
I count the moments of guilt from that day praying you forgive me and remember only my love. I count the ways I wish I could have done better. And I count the ways you make my life perfect.
Sometimes I wonder why God sent you to me first. Why you must endure and experience trials your siblings may not. But then I remember that God only gives one as much as they can handle. Only God knows how great you truly are and day by day, He shows me too.
Words can never encompass the love I have for you. I am ever so grateful to God for giving you to me. And I thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for being my first born. Thank you for being my son. You may always be my practice but you will always be my perfect.