When we talk about a mama’s lasts — she’s last to leave the house, to eat, to shower  — we see just how hard she works, and just how much she gives, for the people she loves most. To know a mama’s sacrifice is to see her certain strength and her warm and gracious spirit.

But to fully know a mama, we should see the times she’s first.

She’s the first to hold the baby close—the first to breathe in his sweet, addictive scent.

She’s the first to feel her heart expand to a thousand times its size.

The first to feed him, to snuggle, to tell his first stories, and to whisper-sing him to sleep.

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She’s the first whose ears will hear him cry. First to run with open arms.

She’s the first to hug away the pain and to offer healing kisses.

She’s the first who’s naturally selfless—first to forgo whatever she needs.

She’s always first to take the picture—and of course, it’s great . . . of Daddy.

She’s the first to hang the artwork and to gush about his talent.

She’s the first to fiercely advocate for everything that she’s the first to know he needs.

She’s the first and last to clean up his messes—and she’s often the one in the middle.

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The first in line for the first home game, or for opening night of the play.

She’s the first to see when he’s hurting.

First to feel his broken heart.

And often the first to meddle—to fix what’s broken, or to try.

A mama is the first to see it’s time to say I’m sorry.

She’s the first to support his big, wild dreams. And the first who dreamed of him to start with.

She’s the first to cheer him on, even—and especially—when he has to leave her behind.

She’s the first to visit him at college, or wherever his journey might take him.

And she’s always the first to sit by the window, just waiting for him to come home.

So, it’s no wonder a mama is her child’s first love.

First protector, provider, and safe place. She’s the first one he calls when he’s homesick or when he needs some straightening out. She’s the first to know when he gets the job or when he’s met the one he’ll marry.

A mama is truly blessed by firsts.

And in the firsts, we see her heart.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

Cassie Gottula Shaw

I'm Cassie, and I'm a writer, mama, Jesus enthusiast, cliche coffee drinker, and lover of all the stories. I believe in the power of faith and empathy, radical inclusivity, and the magic and beauty of ordinary days. I'm inspired every day by the firm belief that we owe something to each otherlove and human connection. When I'm not writing, you can find me running from dinosaurs, building castles, pursuing joy, or watching the sun rise over the fields of Nebraska (coffee in hand) where my husband and I are raising two spectacular children. For more stories, visit my Facebook page, From the House on a Hill with Cassie Gottula Shaw; Instagram, Cassie Gottula Shaw; and the blog, fromthehouseonahill.com