You are my firstborn. My big. The one who made me a mama. The one who started this whole crazy, beautiful roller coaster ride the day I found out you were on your way.
I remember tip-toeing to the bathroom before the sun rose and taking a pregnancy test. The flutter of excitement in my heart turned into a flutter in my growing tummy within just a few short months.
And now here you are, seven years old and more incredible than I imagined in all my wildest dreams. You amaze me every single day with your humor, kindness, and intelligence.
This front-row seat to your childhood is my greatest honor, but can I tell you a secret I’ve never admitted? Something that makes me feel a little twinge of sadness in the deepest parts of my heart?
Sometimes I wonder if I did you a disservice having your brother and sister so closely behind you.
Three kids in three years.
It was the most chaotic kind of whirlwind—still is, most days.
And while I would never in a million years trade any of you for the world, sometimes I wonder if I robbed you of something by not letting you be the only one for a little while longer. My attention, maybe? My patience? A calmer, less frazzled version of myself back when you were the only baby in my arms?
Sometimes I wonder if it was unfair.
I know we ask so much of you these days.
You’re the one I call on most for help. Can you please help your sister get a cup of milk? Have you seen your brother’s other shoe?
One-on-one time with you doesn’t happen as much as it does with your siblings—because, in this season, they physically need me more. I know in my heart how much you need me too.
Your dad and I remind you to “set a good example” or “be a leader.” I know you sometimes feel like you’ve let us down when you test the boundaries or make a mistake. I pray we never put so much pressure on you that you crack.
We expect so much of you and I know sometimes it’s too much. We’re forever reminding ourselves that even though you’re our biggest, you’re still just a kid.
Sometimes the guilt of it all creeps in.
But then I look over and see you huddled on the couch next to your little sister, reading her favorite book aloud just because. The two of you giggle at the funny parts, and I can see the adoration in her eyes when she looks up at you.
Or I see you comforting your brother when he’s upset about something. You help him work through his feelings and pull him close with your arm around his shoulders.
I sit in awe of what a helpful heart you have. You want to pitch in and learn new things and be a team player.
I hear the patience in your voice as you explain things to your siblings in just the right way so they can understand.
I watch you share the last of your favorite snack with them, just because that’s who you are.
I catch your wink when your sister is telling jokes that make absolutely no sense in the way 4-year-olds do—but you laugh along anyway.
And it’s in those moments I know beyond any doubt in my heart: you were made for this. You were made to be the oldest.
You were made to show me patience and grace as I fumble my way through this motherhood thing.
You were made to have maturity beyond your years and a heart as big as they come.
You were made to be my helper. My sidekick. My righthand man.
And I’m sure I don’t say it enough, so I’m saying it now: thank you.
As long as I live, I won’t ever be able to teach you as much as you’ve taught me.
You have made every mile of this journey worth it infinity times over, and I am endlessly proud to be your mama.