To my firstborn,
What do I say to the little person who made me a mother? How can I put into words how I feel about you, how much I love you, how much you’ve changed me?
I had so many ideas about what my first child would be like. In some ways, you are just what your father and I imagined. In others, you are way more than I ever dreamed you could be, and you have surprised us in the best of ways.
We thought you’d be super smart like your daddy, and of course, you are. We thought you’d love to read like your mama, and you surround yourself with books. But still, you surprise us every day with your kind thoughtfulness and careful attention to detail. You are such a sweet and innocent little boy and so mature for your young age.
First of all, I want to say thank you.
I’ve carried a lot of titles in this life so far: sister, daughter, friend, wife, teacher. The title of mother, which you awarded me the day I learned that you were growing, is one I hold so close to my heart. With it comes so much responsibility, but oh so much joy!
Because of you, I get to experience the delight of seeing someone learn and grow and be part of the process. I get to have a little friend with me singing along to Disney songs in the car. I get to play my favorite old board games and have tickle-fests and pillow fights.
I get to forget about work and life and the stress of it all and just laugh with someone for no reason. I get to experience holidays and seasons through a child’s eyes. When you came along, everything in life simply became more fun.
I get to share with you my faith and teach you our family values. I love when you remind us to pray before a meal. Sometimes Daddy and I get so busy that we forget. Little things like that make me so thankful that you made me a mama.
I knew as a little girl that I wanted to be a mother someday, and when you came along, you instantly fulfilled that dream!
When I had you, I thought I had already lived a lot of life. I had so many experiences, multiple college degrees, and a challenging career. I thought I knew so much . . . yet you came along and taught me things I never knew I needed to know.
With you, I learned how to care for a child. I learned how to set up sleep routines and feed a baby properly with you. How to help you through night terrors and when to take you to the doctor. I learned how to navigate even more complicated schedules and multitask like never before. You had to put up with a lot! Thank you for taking it all in stride and loving me through it all. Thank you for being patient with me as I figured out what this whole motherhood thing was about.
I became stronger because of you. I have learned to have more patience and put someone else’s needs above my own. Being your mother has caused me to reflect on what I believe in. It makes me check myself and my behavior – knowing that you are always watching and listening. I am a better person because of you.
After we lost our second baby, you quietly laid beside me because you knew I was sad. You didn’t understand at the time, and you won’t for a while, but I needed to hold you so tight after that. And you didn’t question it. You just held onto me so tight right back.
When I have a major mom fail and think I’ve ruined your day, you assure me that I haven’t. You always say, “That’s okay, Mom! We can do it next time.” When I’ve had a tough day, all I have to do is tuck you into bed and tell you that you’re my favorite little boy, and you’ll respond, “You’re my favorite little mama.” And that’s all I need to know.
For over four years, you were my one and only baby. Together, we learned how to adjust when we added another to our family. When I had to feed or change your little sister, you had to wait for my attention. When I was tired from being up all night, I didn’t have as much energy to give you during the day. You took all of this like a champ, and you rarely complained!
I know sometimes it’s frustrating that you don’t get as much attention as you used to, but I have seen you become more independent and confident in yourself! I also see the little relationship you are building with your sister. I know it will be something you treasure your whole life.
You are only five years old, but already you are watching out for your little sister. You make sure she doesn’t stand up in her high chair, and you’re the first one to give her a toy when she’s fussing in the car. You share your toys with her and teach her to share. When she wants to play, you stop what you’re doing and will be silly with her. Being the oldest in the family is a big responsibility, and every day I’m so proud of how well you do it!
When I first met you, I loved you so much I thought my heart would burst. And yet, as you grow older, my love for you grows! I love seeing you achieve all of your firsts and learning new skills. As you develop your personality, it shows me new sides of you that make me love you more. One time I asked you what it meant to love someone. You told me, “Loving someone means making somebody happy.” You make me so, so happy!
Just like you tell me before you go to bed at night, I love you to the moon, through the asteroid belt, to Pluto, and back again. And that’s a lot of love.