A Letter to my First (and at this time only) Child

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You’ve probably seen them popping up on your Facebook or blog news feed if you follow any Mom Blogs. So here’s my version:

My dear Bean,

I’ll be the first to admit, I never planned on having you. I never planned on having children at all. I had planned for a life of deliberate irresponsibility. I planned to make a living bartending and traveling. I married too young the first time and when I regained my freedom, I had an uncontrollable desire to live a life of minimal responsibility. Make enough money to live comfortably while spending my free time exploring this great big world. Then I met your daddy. And then a few months later that deliberate irresponsibility bit me in the ass. We found out we were having you. It took a while for me to adjust to this new role, mainly because I never imagined myself in this role. You can ask Gaga when you’re older; she will tell you that I was always the independent child. The one who didn’t look back when I walked into my first day of school. The one she knew would always travel furthest away. I always fancied myself a gypsy of sorts. I wasn’t exactly sure how that type of spirit would adjust to a life that was all about taking care of another living human being. In all honesty, you’re 6 now and I am still adjusting. Things take planning now. We can’t just decide to go on a road trip. It takes as much  planning as a shuttle launch. So to sum it up, I never planned on my life being responsible for another much smaller, much more impressive life.

And my, you are impressive. You amaze me every single day. You are kinder than I could ever hope for. You are more forthcoming than I could ever imagine. I know there will come a time in your life that you won’t want to talk to me about everything, so I should really relish in this. So I beg you little one, please be patient with me. I know that you can sense the twinge of annoyance in my voice now and again. It’s not you. It’s me. I am still figuring out how to do this. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t worry that I am screwing you up beyond all psychological repair. But for now, you seem to be okay.

While I may not have planned on ever being a parent, it doesn’t mean that I am not overjoyed to be your mommy. I have the toughest and most awesome job in the world. You force me to look at things from a different perspective. You make me stop and smell the roses, literally. There is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful to be the mother of such an amazing little human.

Your daddy is trying to convince me that having another child will be a great adventure. But honestly right now, I’m content to just be your mom. Right now I can give you all of my attention. Right now I can play with you uninterrupted. We can read books all night if we want. We can rough house and tickle without fear of waking up a younger sleeping infant. Right now, you get all my love and attention. Some people ask the inevitable “when are you going to have another child?” I was unaware that having kids was a package deal. I’m perfectly happy being the mother of an only child. Yes, you do require more attention from me, but also you have been able to learn things from a peer perspective rather than a sibling perspective. Instead of being forced to share with a sibling, you have been taught that sharing is a polite thing to do, but not required. This is a lesson that carries into the adult world. You have seen the peer interaction dynamic, rather than the sibling dynamic. Sibling interaction is emotionally driven. Peer interaction, while it still has emotions involved, contains more objectivity. You are able to see things from a POV that other children your age can’t. I have had very grown up conversations with you, and often been surprised by the logic you are able to use in these conversations. That use of logic comes from the fact that you interact with adults one on one because your get us all to yourself.

Sometimes I worry that I am denying you some rite of passage by making the deliberate decision to not have another child. You will never know what it’s like to have a younger brother spit in your hair or throw you off of a swing set. You will never know what it’s like to have a younger sibling tagging along after you wanting to know your every move. You may never know the irritation of little sister borrowing your clothes or reading your diary. Wait, do kids still have diaries? Nevermind, I’m getting off the point. No matter what, you will always be my first born. You will always have the biggest piece of my heart. So even if your daddy succeeds in his 2nd baby argument, you will always be my #1. Unless you refer to that symbol as a hashtag. Then I may choose your sibling over you.

The point is, I am so happy to be your mommy. I wouldn’t trade it for all the traveling and irresponsibility in the world.

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