Monday, July 12, 2010

I pity the first born

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.



Traci Michele said...

Amy! Yes! Amen. Have one of those! I loved this:

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.

So true!

Thank you for this post!


Lauren said...

Amen! I seem to worry a bit more about my oldest daughter (she's 7) just because she is the oldest! She is so helpful and (usually) sweet to her little sister and baby brother, but she can be very hard on herself. My younger daughter (4 yrs) is quite funny and silly, so I embrace that....and let my kids see my funny, silly side too!

emily freeman said...

So well-written, my friend. And yes, the only thing more terrifying than having one first-born is having TWO FIRST BORNS. I worry about those girls, I do.

Kelly said...

You summed up exactly what I feel about our older daughter... especially training her to be responsible and then scolding her for taking charge. Sweet girl, at 13 she is well acquainted with our joking that she is our guinea pig child, and rolls with our mistakes and inadequacies with grace (most of the time).
Such a sweet post- I love the way you articulate your heart:-)

Jill said...

Sometimes you write posts and I swear you wrote them just for me. You were peeking in my windows yesterday, weren't you? ;-)

CafeAngelica said...

So glad to meet you! How cool that we go to the same church. I'm on the worship team next week. If you have the time, please come up after one of the service and say Hello!

Jemsmom said...

This post spoke straight to my heart! Jemma is not only the first born, but the only child so she has no one else to help deflect our craziness!! You summed it up PERFECTLY when you said,

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.

That is beyond brilliant. Thank you for letting me know I am not the only one!

The Starr Family said...

The painful truth... oh I can so relate!! I am the eldest and I often see this in my own mother... as well as recognizing it with my eldest!

Jennifer {Studio JRU} said...

Ella sounds like one precious and amazing girl!! God has certainly made her special. :)

I wanted to thank you for your *sweet* comment on my blog... so happy you found me!


Cat said...

oh my goodness! i can't tell you how many times i have felt like i totally screwed up on my first born! if only i had known. if only i HADN'T listened to others advice (yea...who DOESN'T rock their baby to sleep?! oh how the time passes so quickly! "don't rock your baby, then they'll get used to going to sleep that way..." HELLOOOOO! don't rock your baby?! Craziness!

Gwen T said...

I'm so glad you found me, Amy, so I could find you! :)

For me the feeling of "I'm messing this child up" is not reserved for just my first child! It's truly by God's grace, strength and wisdom that I can mother my crew of 7.

Melissa said...

oh, we've got to get our girls together! YOU are in good company, too, sweet amy!!!

this is my favorite, and pretty much how i would explain most of my days with mine "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."

sara said...

What a lovely post for your eldest! The fears and insecurities we have with our first-borns...I think we've all been there.

This Mom said...

Thanks for visiting me - I'm now following you! Hope you read my post on spirituality; if not, check it out. I think you'd enjoy it.

This post about the oldest child is so true, and the thing is, I'm also the firstborn, and I can see myself repeating things with my own daughter, even though I promised myself I wouldn't!

Kate @ This Mom Loves

Dorothy said...

Oh... I so hear you! I am a first born... and my own first born is just as you described yours. Except that she really is only a few months off her 18th birthday and I can't believe we have shoved and poked and prodded her all the way to adulthood - almost.
She is smart enough to know our mistakes are like everyone else's and that we wish we had done some things differently, and that most of all, just like the grandmother in Everybody Loves Raymond... we did it out of LOVE. lol

Ashley Stinson said...

beautifully written. :)

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