Dear First Born

by Lara on December 22, 2015

Dear First Born

 Photo courtesy of Becca Howell Photography 

Dear First Born,

It’s not long now that your world, and ours, will be forever changed.

And I am scared for you.

Many of our kind, well-meaning friends and family members try to tell me not to worry, that you are probably still young enough that eventually, you won’t even remember life before your little brother.

Here’s the thing.

I hope you do.

I hope you remember us chasing garbage trucks all the way around our neighborhood just to get a closer look. I hope you remember assembling massive train tracks in the living room, building sofa forts, and picnic lunches spent watching trucks at the construction site. I hope you remember the slow, unrushed mornings spent at the library, or visiting the toy store, or walking to the park, and spending so many rainy afternoons reading book after book after book snuggled on the couch, simply because we had the gift of time.

Every afternoon, when we arrive home from our morning activity for your nap, we pull into the garage and you say the same thing: “I want to finish this song in the car, in the garage, just the two of us.”

It kills me, that you always say it that way. Just the two of us.

Do you understand better than I think, what is really about to happen?

Since I got pregnant, I’ve had moments of being able to step outside and see our daily life, the two of us, in a bubble. I see it as my future self, a mother of two, and I already feel a longing for these simple, fleeting days we still have together. If you are lucky, you will experience this feeling as an adult and better understand what I’m likely failing to describe. It’s the knowledge that this time of your life can never, ever again be recreated, and you are keenly aware that this moment is precious and finite and irreplaceable. By definition, this is every moment of your life. But it’s those few times when you’re fully conscious of it that are such a gift. If I am honest with myself, I have only had this feeling twice before: I had it the summer when I was 18, before I moved away to college, when I reveled in the knowledge that I would never be so young and carefree again.  And I had it moments leading up to your birth, when I realized that the continuum of my life would forever be divided into two parts: before motherhood, and after.

And I am having it now.

Life will never be the same.

I hope we have given you enough time. I hope you weren’t rushed from your babyhood. I hope you will continue to thrive in the security that comes with knowing that you were the first. You were the first to delight us with your cleverness and sensitivity and energy. You were the first to teach us about patience and commitment and a raw, unconditional, frighteningly pure love. I hope you remember this, how you made us into a family.

But if you don’t remember, I will. And while I struggle to see how another child could ever be so adored, I take comfort in knowing that these moments of consciousness have always preceded momentous and joyous change; what lies ahead has somehow been even better than what I’ve left behind. It is my hope, and your father’s, that the changes ahead will ultimately be one of our greatest gifts to you.

You have shown me the power of a mother’s love, so I dare not doubt it now. That love is greater than any fear I have about our future. For this and so much else, thank you.

My love always,


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