Dear Firstborn, I’m learning too…

Dear Firstborn,

On a night twelve years ago today, you became, and I became too. All of my births were magic (after they were hell and fire), but your birth was the one where I was born. We were both born and then there we sat, mother and son. My whole world stopped spinning; everything came into focus; and a part of me woke up that had never been awake before.

I will never be the same.

They said it would all come naturally to me. They said I would just “know” how to be your mom and I did, but I also didn’t. Every day was like taking a test for something I was never taught. Even so, more than I was scared or overwhelmed, I was sure. I was sure that you and I belonged to each other and we would figure it out.

I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.

You are my first, my test run, my trial and error, my wewillfigurethisout. I don’t want that to be true, but it is. With each baby I’ve had, I’ve become more relaxed and more comfortable in my “mother skin”. You didn’t get the luxury of having a seasoned mom, but you did get to be my first, and because of that we will always have a special, sacred connection.

Every stage that has been new for you has been new for me too.

I’m sorry for all the things I didn’t know before I knew. I’m sorry for all the mistakes I learned from because I made them on you. I’m sorry for all the times my insecurity in the unknown has made me handle situations poorly. I’m sorry that I’ll need to apologize to you the most out of any of our other kids.

I’m sorry that I’ve expected you to grow up quicker than your siblings. I didn’t mean to do it, but I know that I have. When you were two, it was “can you give your brother his binkie” and overeager potty training. Later it was “I need you to help me,” and “I need you to be a big boy right now”. It was “please be a good example,” and it was “you’re too old for this”.

I’m sorry for putting too high of expectations on you too soon. I never wanted to do that to you, but I did.

Thank you for your patience with me. Thank you for being quick to forgive my blunders and for being so strong and resilient. Thank you for being so much more amazing than anything I could ever take credit for. Thank you for being my first born, my first awakening, my treasure, and my friend.

Every year brings new things that neither of us have ever experienced before. In just a couple blinks you’ll be doing schoolwork that I can’t help you with, walking the halls of your high school, and asking to borrow my car. More than I’m scared (and I am scared), I’m sure. I’m sure that you and I belong to each other and that we will figure it out.

I won’t get it right all the time; in fact, I know that I’ll make lots of mistakes. Please be patient with me, my love; I’m learning too.

I’m learning too, but I’m sure that we will figure this out because we always do.




Hi, I’m Jess the writer behind Wonderoak. My husband and I have four kids and recently moved from Montana to SoCal. I’m a lover of all things “true” in motherhood: the exhaustion, the mess, the mistakes, and overwhelming love that surrounds it all. My car is usually full of petrified french fries and granola bar wrappers (except I got it vacuumed yesterday by two guys who kept laughing at me), and I wear sweatshirts so I don’t have to wear a bra. Coffee is a borderline religion for me, and I drink a quad americano with honey and steamed cream every day. My commitment to motherhood is that I will not judge you, ever. We are all just doing our best. Sister, I am with you.

You can follow me here, on Facebook, and on Insta.



8 responses to “Dear Firstborn, I’m learning too…”

  1. Marie Johnston Avatar
    Marie Johnston

    Love this Jessica! You’re a wonderful momma with a wonderful son♥️Love Mom

  2. Beautiful!! A letter any mother could write to her firstborn…#nomatterthegender. Thank you for having the courage to write this…it warmed my heart to hear my own story through your wonderfully spun words! Hugs for doing so!

  3. So true and a little sad that our first born teaches us how to be better parents for their siblings. I have so many regrets and my heart still hurts for my “test baby.” The test baby I had did the same things I did with her first born…such is life…one cannot know what they don’t know. There is no going back.

  4. I too have 4 kids…I’m a Dad but this was sooo beautiful. Thank you.

  5. Thank you!!

  6. Hi Jessica, thank you, as I’m reading this tears starts to fall because it’s true all that you said about being born together that day yet I have two daughters and they are my life. Thank you for sharing this ♥️

  7. I love your beautiful heart and gift of writing, Jessica. Don’t worry about the mistakes, have confidence that you did your best and it will help your children to be confident too. Hopefully not for you and your family, but our kids wandered quite far away from our hopes and dreams for them in H.S. and young adults. How elated we were , when they wandered on back in gratitude; telling us what great parents we were and how disfunctional they now thought other families were. Ha!! we thought we were the disfunctional ones!

  8. This is beautiful. As a first born and someone in late teens, it was nice to hear the other side haha. ❤️

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