Dear Firstborn, It’s okay to fail…

Dear Firstborn,

It’s okay to fail, and to fail again and again and again.

There’s something special about my bond with you. It isn’t better or more important, it’s just different. You were the beginning of my awakening, the step through the portal that is motherhood. Your becoming was my becoming. The day you were born I said goodbye to one life and ran with open arms into the next.

I can still picture you cradled in my arms. I stared at your tiny face in disbelief. How was I going to give you, this precious human, the childhood you deserved? I still haven’t figured that out. Every day I make beautiful things and I make messes too, but there’s never been a calling more worthy of my everything than you.

Here are a few things I want you to know:

There’s no where you could go, no one you could become, nothing you could do, that would make me stop loving you. It isn’t possible. My heart is always and forever yours, no matter what. You don’t have to earn it, you don’t need to deserve it. It’s yours.

I hope you take care of it, I hope you love me back, but even if you don’t, I am here like a statue planted in stone. There’s nothing you could do to change that my son, nothing.

Just because I’m in charge doesn’t mean I get it right. I’ve probably misread situations  hundreds of times. I’ve probably said the wrong thing a thousand. I do my best, but my words are not the end-all-be-all. I hope that I can give you wisdom, but I also want you to think for yourself. At the end of the day what I want you to know is I LOVE YOU, YOU ARE ENOUGH, and you have what it takes…everything else can fall by the wayside.

We have been too hard on you at times, forgetting how young you are and expecting more of you than we should have. I’m so, so sorry, my son. Mistakes are an important part of your becoming, and you are allowed to make them. I see you being too hard on yourself too. You strive to follow the rules, never get in trouble, be on time, and do all your homework. Those are good things, but here’s what I want you to know:

You are allowed to fail. AS MUCH AND AS OFTEN AS YOU NEED.

We are never going anywhere.


Sometimes I project myself onto you. I see so much of me in your eyes, in the way you stress about things, and in the way you are thoughtful towards your friends. If I ever define you in a way that doesn’t feel right, it’s me that’s wrong, not you. You need to be whoever you are on the inside. Let the fire burn bright my son, and don’t ever try and fit into a box that I, or anyone else put on you.

Don’t grow up too quickly. It’s okay to stay small; it’s okay to not know the things you don’t know. Be a kid as long as you can be, my son. There’s plenty of time to be an adult, don’t rush the process.

I hope we can be friends forever. Yes, I’m your mom, and that often requires teaching, leading, and guiding, but I also hope that our friendship and mutual respect never stops. I hope that we go on long walks forever and talk about anything and everything that makes your heart sing.

I will be safe for you to talk to me about anything and everything. I will not judge you, I will not jump to conclusions, and I’ll never share your secrets.

I am proud of you. So very, very, endlessly proud of you and nothing you could ever do will change that. I am your biggest fan. I’m proud of you when you win, and proud of you when you lose.

You are the best awakening I’ve ever had. When I look back at the first day I held you in my arms, I see it is the beginning of everything. I am so, so, grateful.

I love you. We will win and we will fail and we will do it all together.




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15 responses to “Dear Firstborn, It’s okay to fail…”

  1. Teresa at Avatar
    Teresa at

    I hope he reads this when he has children of his own. It is beautifully written. Thank you for reminding us of how tight our bond is with our first born.

  2. Beautifully said sweet Jessica! I’ve felt that way about my six too,but as I reread this for the umteenth time, my heart stretches easily and quickly to our 16 grandchildren! Thank you dear lady for putting perfect words to my humble thoughts!
    Peace to you and much love on your wonderful journey!
    Aunt Gay

  3. Truly beautiful. Love it. Thank you for some sunshine in this world.

  4. This was such a heart-moving piece to read. I can feel the love for your handsome boy!

  5. This is so beautiful and so true. It brought tears to my eyes. Firstborns are special in so many ways. Thank you for sharing these thoughts!

  6. That is the most beautiful heartfelt letter I’ve ever read. Not only it brought tears missing my firstborn growing up with me, for the first 3 years I’ve held him in my arms, heart and felt him through all the years of growing up far away from my loving eyes, I seen, heard, and missed him with every second that was taken away from me, everything you stated in your letter it’s of the same words I’ve uttered to him in my thoughts and prayers! Thank you again for sharing your blessed thoughts. God bless you and your firstborn <3

  7. […] This post originally appeared on Wonderoak. […]

  8. Nothing but the exact, perfect feelings of mine are put in the words…

  9. First born is as close to heart and mind as you are to yourself, therefore you tend to look and lead your loved one through a prism which is full of your expectations and perfections and it is very essential to strike a balance between your hopes and plans visa vis the natural evolution and development of your loved one.

  10. […] is the foundation of childhood and the best ways to cultivate it can sometimes seem elusive. Love this letter about motherhood and giving our kids permission to fail. I was so happy to read the first part of […]

  11. I so needed this!!!! Love love love love it!!!💙💜

  12. […] This article originally appeared on Wonderoak […]

  13. I felt as though you looked into my heart & read my feelings! My first born is my son & he’s 25 soon & lives in Melbourne. I sent him this message this morning because it speaks of my feelings so well & it brought tears. Thank you for putting into words what we mums all over the world are feeling but sometimes find it hard to be so fluent about.

  14. Thank you! All these years I’ve felt all of these same feelings, but never took the time to express them to my daughter, nor did I have the right words. We read it together, and though we both turned into a teary mess, it was an incredibly special moment we got to share. So once again, thank you for putting into words that which I couldn’t <3

  15. Awe thank you so much for sharing that with me! ❤️

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