To My Firstborn, You Don't Understand

Aug 16, 2017 by apost team

"You never do anything for me!" my oldest child snapped at me as she ran up the stairs to her room. Her beautiful essence was temporarily shadowed by her ugly attitude.

As I slowly walked up the stairs behind her, I smiled to myself, thinking about how much my life changed the day I gave birth to her. Remembering the long days that turned into nights where I couldn't put her down without her screaming to be picked back up. The days I wish I had help-- just an extra set of hands so I could take a short break, but at the same time, the feeling that I did not want to share her with anyone.

I can remind her of everything she has and how lucky she is but she won't understand. What I know, my daughter, is that you will never realize how much I cherish you from head to toe. You will never realize how much of myself I see in you and how much you have shaped my life. 

You don't remember how I used to watch you nap with your arms curved gently over your head and a crease in each chubby thigh. People told me that was my time to rest but it was hard to take my eyes off of you knowing that those moments would never last. 

Only I know the sadness and hurt I felt inside while I tried to rock you to sleep for hours, unaware of the pain you were feeling yourself in your stomach. You don't understand the stress endured over small decisions that seemed so monumental. Cloth diapers or disposable? Chicken nuggets or organically grown strawberries? Share my bed with you or let you learn independence early?

I can't describe to you how often I have to stop and pause when I notice how fast you are growing up as you hustle around the house getting ready to face the day. The baby who used to rely on me for everything is now making a life of her own.

You have yet to experience love like one has for their child, unconditional, even if it is sometimes unrequited. 

You can't yet realize the anxiety I feel when I imagine losing you slowly as you grow up. 

I never felt like I was the best mother or most nurturing person and sometimes even apologized to you when you were a baby for not having all of the answers in life. I questioned my abilities to properly raise a human into a responsible adult.

Seeing myself in you as you grow up is terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.

You can't comprehend my pride as I watch you go through these early stages of life, how I see how giving and responsible you are and how well you fit the role of being the oldest child so well.

Did you know that sometimes I still pause to watch you while you sleep, that I will always find an excuse to pin your hair back so everyone can see your beautiful face?

You don't yet realize the rage a mother can experience when someone is not nice to her daughter, the way we are able to physically feel the pain you may be feeling.

I wish you could understand how everything you do and every decision you make reminds me of how lucky I am to be your mother. 

I wish you could understand that as my firstborn child, you changed my entire world and I would not take back one minute that I have gotten to have with you.

I'm always here for you. Even if you don't see it. And that's the truth.


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