My first born is 9 years old today…so I feel the need to write about her and to her.
Forever my first – Baby girl, you made me a mum.
9 years ago you came into my world and made me a mother. You opened my eyes to a love I never knew existed. One look into your beautiful blue eyes and I was smitten. You were hours old and already I couldn’t , and didn’t want to, comprehend a life without you.
Getting to know you and learn about your changing needs each day, was more exhausting, more challenging, more exciting than anything I had ever imagined it could be. Becoming a mother changes you fundamentally. I still look the same, sound the same and to anyone looking in, am the same. But I’m not. I’ve created another person. Another person who is miraculous and perfect and beautiful. That person is you.
I thought being a mother meant that I would be the teacher. That you would learn from me…I did not know that you would teach me. With you I learned about breastfeeding and the intense emotional bond it creates. From you I learned about how useless breast pads were. From you I discovered that amazing myriad of fillings that could appear in nappies. Who knew?! I learned how amazing my body is at providing for a baby.
I learned that sleeping on the floor next to your cot was not only something I could do, would do and was fairly happy to do… I held your hand through the bars and reassured you with my voice. And fell asleep happy, listening to your soft snuffles and gentle breath.
From the start you were alert, so alert. You looked on knowingly as we went about our day, taking it all in as if you understood it all and as if you’d been there before. And you learned so quickly!
You were the perfect baby to earn my mummy stripes on.
I experienced all the “firsts” with you. We learned together about teething, potty training, walking, talking, drawing, colouring and reading and writing. You were the one to introduce me to the mummy world of toddler groups and baby signing.
As you have grown, you have continued to teach me. You amaze me with your intelligence. I often find myself watching you and looking at this girl, who I’ve created. You are so gentle, so kind and so responsible. You have such a loving heart. You have such a nurturing nature and you have so many talents. You excel in academics and in your passions of dance and performance. Your writing is exquisite and you astound me with your natural ability to create magical worlds with pen and paper. It is easy to forget you are only 9.
I look at you and see all the possibilities of the future in one small girl. You have a future stretched out in front of you and all the tools to make it a magnificent one.
Sometimes I can’t believe you’re mine. I am so proud of you. The love I feel for you is all consuming and overwhelming. I have so much yet to experience with you.
You, who is sitting on the verge of becoming a young lady..no more a little girl. We’re talking about secondary schools and your dreams. We’re discussing changes that a girl goes through as she enters puberty, how to cope with friendships and conflict. I take comfort in knowing you still need me.
Sometimes I catch my breath when I realise that you are probably halfway through living at home before you head off to university or whatever dream you chase..and I panic that my time with you is slipping away. I wonder if I have done enough to prepare you for your teens, for life as a young independent adult. Have I helped you build the strength of character needed to survive out in the big bad world? I can only hope I have and continue to offer guidance.
I ponder what it will be like not having your face to smile at me each day. Not hearing your infectious laugh and feeling your hugs. The thought just seems wrong and alien. I have long since forgotten life without you in it, and yet I know it is coming. I hope you will help me to get through it. That you will teach me about letting you go. It’s always harder to be the one staying behind, than it is to be the one flying the nest.
I am looking forward to experiencing all that comes from growing up. I want to be the one who you tell when you fall for that first guy. I want to be the one to teach you to drive, to take you shopping for prom dresses and to help you discover all those girly things in life.
So my baby girl, you are forever my first and I thank you for being my teacher and for letting me be yours. I do hope you’ll always feel comfortable talking to me as we do now. I’m looking forward to all the things we will experience together as you grow older. That you will continue to need me to help you learn about life and being a girl. You’ll always be my first! I love you. Xx Mum.
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