Wednesday, May 14, 2008

To my first-born

Dear M,

As we approach the birth of your sister, I find myself thinking about you, and the days and hours leading up to your birth.

I held a secret desire for you to be a girl, but I was fairly certain that you were a boy. After all, Daddy’s family didn’t make girls. They were all boys.

I was nervous about experiencing labor and becoming a parent. I enjoyed my pregnancy and didn’t really mind when my due date came and went. Daddy and I went on walks together that week while we wondered when you would make your appearance. Six days after the estimated due date, we entered the hospital to induce your birth.

We stayed overnight. I listened to your heart beating and feeling you inside me for the last few hours. I didn’t realize you were in danger until that next afternoon when the induction finally started to work. I didn’t know that the contractions had started; I couldn’t feel them. I didn’t hear your heart beat fade.

More likely I didn’t want to hear it so I didn’t.

Those minutes as I was being prepped for surgery were agonizing. I shuddered and cried. I was terrified. For you. For me. For Daddy. For us.

When they told me you were a girl and Daddy showed me the digital photo of you I felt joy…and relief.

You’ve been teaching me how to be a mommy ever since.

I admit I felt moments of guilt when I was pregnant with K. Maybe I was cheating you of time with Mommy and Daddy by adding another child to our family. Maybe I was being selfish to think that I could be worthy of another child as wondrous as you.

I needn’t have worried.

From the moment we told you that you would be a big sister, even at your young age, you seemed to know that it would be a great thing to be. You posed with me for photos, showing your belly along with me. You kissed my belly with butterfly lips. When K was born, you called him your K. You carried his photo around like a proud new mommy.

You continually teach me about the expanding nature of love. You love fiercely, without restraint. You love so much and have such capacity for forgiveness that it humbles me. You are my first-born. My practice child. The one that endures the most of my many mistakes at parenting. And you forgive me for every one of them.

And so I know when this baby, your little sister, enters this world she will have a remarkable role model in you. Thank you for the gift of you. Don’t ever change.

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Great Auntie Sue said...

oh geez,now you're making me cry!

slouching mom said...

Aww... Such a sweet post, for a sweet girl.

ilikeflame09 said...

So the He turned into a She and the She turned into a He...

Sandy said...

Beautiful.

Mayberry said...

*snif*

Beautiful, both the words and the pictures.

-K said...

What a beautiful message! Sounds like your children are very blessed to have you as their mother.

As a mother of 5- 1 girl and 4 boys, I can related to a lot of what you said.

Thanks for allowing me to take a little peek into your lives- looks like you have a lovely family and I enjoyed the blog.

P.S. When I post the entry I'm working on that includes your note cards, I'll send you a link for sure! Thanks!

angi said...

*sniff*
You have such a way with sweet posts, I love it when you write to your kids :)

chelle said...

Your letters to your children are so beautiful!

SHe is an awesome little girl!

Damselfly said...

Oh, this makes me tear up. I love the picture you both showing your tummies!

Michelle said...

Aw, Heather!

This is a beautiful series of posts to your three kids. I *love* seeing how individually you love them, how you know them so intimately and separately -- because that's my biggest fear in adding #2, that I'll somehow miss out and know him/her less than I do Smooch, who's had the benefit of all this solo time. I know your kids will love these posts one day - but thanks for sharing them with us in the meantime. It makes me feel so much better! :-)

 
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