The Gift of the First Child
(This post is really just for me. I felt the need to take a moment and write for each of my children about what a gift they have been in my life. Sometimes it seems like...because there is more than one or two of them that people think they get lost in the shuffle. Maybe that is just my own insecurities rearing their head. But in reality, I am grateful for every child and what they have brought to my life and our family.)
I will always think there is something special about that first pregnancy, that first child. I was just filled with wonder. I felt as though I was joining a universal sisterhood that had before then been closed to me. The miracle of movement inside me. I remember a special awe that I was no longer just me, that my body housed another soul, another spirit.
What a gift this was to me as a human and a woman! There is something about that that I can't even express. It still blows my mind that women don't even like being a woman or feel somewhat less than men. Or even that women WANT to be more like men. There is nothing that compares to womanhood and motherhood. Nothing has made me feel so close to the divine.
With my first I I think I really appreciated pregnancy. It was my most comfortable pregnancy and in some ways I felt more healthy than normal. I loved watching my body grow. I loved eating for two. (Probably a little too much.)
In some ways preparing for the birth of your first is scary because you don't know what will happen. In others it is actually less scary- because you don't know enough to be really scared!
When he was born my first child filled my mind, my time, my life, my everything. It was a gift to be so focused on him for a while. It was also a gift when I had another and was forced to focus on another, but I cherish those two years we had with just us.
I was probably more patient in some ways. I really didn't know what to expect from a child like that. If he ignored me I just thought he didn't understand English yet! I was so wrong!
I am grateful that my oldest got so much attention and time. Now that he is the oldest with three little sisters, inevitably he gets less. The sisters and the youngest take priority sometimes. They tend to stick together, which is maybe something that sisters do. But I know that for two and a half years he knew total devotion from the first person who ever knew him.
I feel kind of sad for my first two. I worried so much about things that I realize now were just temporary. In fact, I still worry about things that in a few years I will probably realize just passed with time. I used say he was my "practice" child. While the first gets lots of attention, then also get to break mom and dad in.
They are the first to do things. This gives them the advantage of having parents who are filled with awe and wonder at their every step and coo and smile. But they also have the disadvantage of parents who sometimes take things too seriously or overreact or just care about stuff that they have yet to realize doesn't matter.
I love my first. He changed my life. His birth, his everything-- it was all new to me. I never really knew what I wanted to do or who I wanted to become until I met him. What a gift that was to be a young woman wondering what her purpouse was, and then to be taught it through the birth of a tiny baby.
Motherhood, birth, love. Those are the things that surround my life, my thoughts, my worries and my cares. I will never understand those who don't respect, cherish, and stand in awe at the gifts that we have been given as mothers- the gift of life.
What a blessing it is to be a woman. That was the gift of the first child- they are a teacher.