Dear first born,
I miss you. I miss us. I miss when it used to be us. I love my second born more than I ever imagined, but God do I miss us. I remember when I was pregnant with my second I was so nervous to leave you. I couldn’t fathom it never being just us again. I remember laying in your crib with you when you couldn’t sleep. I remember taking rides with you while you would sing the song, “mommy’s special.” I remember rocking you to sleep and we would pray to God. I remember always being there for you when you needed me…right away. And now I need to be there for your brother too. He is going to cry and need me a lot, so there might be some times you have to wait. I can’t imagine how you must feel now that you have to share me. But just know that I love you soooo much beyond words. You made me a mama. My biggest fear is losing you as time goes by. And time is slipping away so fast. I would do anytime to be able to freeze those moments.
You are fierce. You are strong-willed. You are sassy. You are stubborn. You are YOU. Don’t ever change. My mom and I had our differences when I was younger, but we are the best of friends now. I pray that you and I will see through our differences when you are older. I will miss you so much when you grow up. You love me so much now, even when I feel like a failure. Even when I yell at you when you wake up at 2am, 212am, 230am…You love me when I’m crying. You love me when I’m building a Lego tower and it falls down. You love looking back at me during dance class because you are so proud of yourself and you know I’m so proud of you too. You love me when I am nursing Hudson and I can’t read you a book, or I’m reading you a book with Hudson on my boob half-naked in bed. You love me at my worst and you love me at my best. You love me unconditionally.
I love you more than a million skies. I thank God for you every day. There is something so special about you and I. It isn’t better or more important, but it’s just different. You were the beginning of discovering of who I am, the step to motherhood. Your becoming was my becoming. I remember holding you in my arms just crying and crying and crying uncontrollably in bed on one of the first nights home just praying that nothing bad would ever happen to you.
Here are a few thing I want you to know:
There is nowhere you could go, no one you could become and nothing in this world that could make me stop loving you. My heart is yours and you never have to earn it. But please take care of my heart too. I hope you always love me back even when you say you don’t. I did this when I was a teenager. I “hated” my parents as a teenager because I was swimming against the current of the ugly society, which is even uglier now. Plus they were annoying and set limits. And just because I’m the boss doesn’t mean I know everything. I make mistakes. Remember when you used to always say, “Mommy made a big steak (mistake) in the kitchen?” I have made more “big steaks” and they aren’t always in the kitchen. But you love me anyways and I will always love you. You are allowed to make “big steaks” throughout life because that is how you learn.
When you see that I am sad, try not to internalize those feelings. Mommy sometimes feels feelings that aren’t always happy feelings. I mostly feel happy. You always ask me, “Mommy, are you happy?” You are the sweetest, most loving, kindest, and sensitive soul. You pick up on how I’m feeling and you internalize. You are so worried about me and sometimes I project myself onto you. I see me in you and sometimes I’m proud, but sometimes I’m scared. Let your soul shine bright and don’t lose that sensitivity.
There will be bad people who cross your path. Help them. Learn about them. Be nice to them. Forgive them. Keep your guard up if you heart tells you to. Everyone has a story. Stay away from the kids you don’t feel comfortable with. They will try to drag you down and turn you into someone you are not. Be strong enough to stay true to who you are. You are a strong and beautiful soul and you won’t let anyone walk all over you. I can already tell. Always come to me and know that I will never ever judge you.
Don’t grow up too quickly. Be a kid as long as you can. So many kids feel like they need to grow up and know everything. It’s okay not to know everything. Love the things you love and don’t let anyone dull your sparkle. Chase your dreams and believe in yourself. When I tell you every single night before bed that you are beautiful, I mean it.
I hope you always want to go on walks with me to see the bunnies and the deer. I hope you always sing to me and remind me to take a deep breath. I hope you always come to me. I hope you always forgive me if I make a “big steak.” I hope you always love me even if your friends tell you not to. I hope you always pray to God with me or on your own. I hope you know how much you love, my first born. You have my heart forever.
I love you a million skies, Juliana Marie. My beautiful daughter. My best friend.
Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did – that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human Boyd and yet, each child represented just that- a parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.