Sometimes I wonder why God ever thought it wise to entrust us with the life of a human being. I still remember every detail of when we brought our eldest daughter home from the hospital. The first time I left her unattended (on my first solo trip to the bathroom) I had a panic attack. What if she stops breathing while I am not staring at her? I also remember going into my bedroom and crying hysterically when my father came to meet her for the first time, and upon his arrive he informed me he had a cold. I secretly started planning her funeral in my head. Morbid, I know. Insane, absolutely. Neurotic, without a doubt.
First born children. I pity them. They are the guinea pigs of the bunch. We try out all of our crazy on them, desperately seeking what works and what doesn't. We pompously, yet politely listen to the advise of the all the ignorant people around us; and then walk away with our noses turned up, cradling our prized gifts from above, armed with all of our new found expertise that is only as old and mature as the child we are holding in our arms. I know it's natural. We all do it, at least I think we all do it. But there are days when I watch my first born in action and I feel guilty for doing it, for it's not her fault she was the first one out of the womb. She cannot help it that God thought that of the three children he would give us, she would be the one most capable of bearing the brunt of her parent's insanity. It's not her fault that we subconsciously train her to be in charge of everything, and then scold her for trying to take charge of everything. Can't you just see God up in heaven talking amongst the Son and the Spirit, "Well, which one do you think we should give them first? These two are gonna screw up a lot of stuff as new parents. Let's give them Ella, she's tough, she can handle it." And they were right...she bears the burden well.
Ella is the kind of girl I wish I was, I'm so glad she was born first. She is strong and confident, fearless yet sweet. She is full of fire and bubbling with life. She has the wit and humor of an 18 year old, in the body of a 7 year old...oh my the struggles. Most days I can't get enough of her, but by the evening I can't take anymore of her, but then I somehow still never tire of her. Ella has managed thus far to survive the flaws of her parents. Though I know beyond certainty we do not always do things the way God intended, He at least planned ahead of time for it. He breathed into Ella the life of a fighter, He knew it to be a character trait she would need to survive being born first in our family.
Do you have a first born child that you often convince yourself you are messing up for all eternity? Take heart friend, you are in good company.