To My Firstborn. . . I’m Sorry

Dear S.H.

I’m sorry I couldn’t deliver you naturally, like I had planned, and that your first vision in this world was my bloody abdominal cavity torn open with my intestines lying beside me. It was so worth it. I promise.

But baby, sometimes things don’t go according to plan and—despite your disappointment—you’ll need to roll with the punches and trust in those who know more than you.

I’m sorry you were born in September, which will make your school age a little wacky. There will be some kids in your class a year older and some a whole year younger.

But kiddo, all through your life you’ll encounter kids older, younger, bigger, smaller, smarter, faster. Try not to be intimidated (I know it’s hard), and always be kind. Kindness gets you the furthest.

I’m sorry I used to put you to bed at 4:45pm. Oh, your grandmothers used to worry that I wasn’t giving you a life. But you were six months old! Socially you weren’t missing out on much. I promise.

But sweetheart, thank you for giving Mommy and Daddy a few hours alone to connect. It gave us the time to catch up on each other’s lives, but we mainly only talked about how wonderful you are. Quality time is more fulfilling than screen time. I hope we raise you to realize that.

I’m sorry I made you cry it out as an infant. I bet you didn’t know that I was crying too. But then Daddy came in and threw me out of the house (out of love!) because I wasn’t “up for the task.” Daddy likes to fix things and we weren’t being cruel. I promise.

But honey, as you grow up, we’ll do a lot of things that you won’t find fair. You’ll be mad at us and probably say things you don’t mean. It will be hard on us too. Parenting isn’t easy, but you make it worth it.

I’m sorry I got pregnant with your brother so soon and that you and I only had 15 months alone together, but your father and I had all that alone time due to the 4:45pm bedtime and . . .

But buddy, thank you for being such a kind, gentle and protective big brother. That crazy, little guy will be your very best friend one day. I promise.

I’m sorry I never cut your wild, blond curls as a baby and now you hate haircuts and still have your messy, signature coif. It looks perfect. I promise.

But dude, that look is yours. If you love it, own it. I will never force you to cut it short, or shave it. If you love it, I love it. And screw anyone who might mock it.

I’m sorry I chose to stop nursing you when your brother was born. But, there’s only so much boob sucking a woman can take in a day. You were thriving and didn’t protest at all. I promise.

But love, your newborn brother needed it more than you, so I gave to the one who needed it more. Share your lunch with a friend who’s hungry, tip generously and donate. If you don’t have money to donate, donate your blood. Someone needs it more than you.

I’m sorry I made you take music classes, swimming lessons, art, gymnastics, karate, and guitar without asking you. You probably don’t remember back then, but you enjoyed them all. I promise.

But handsome, our home is my job and sometimes you’ve just got to leave the office. Remember that.

I’m sorry I put your training wheels back on after you learned to ride a bike. But you were sobbing and begged me to because you were scared. It’s okay to be scared. I promise.

But sport, I enabled you to stay comfortable, when I knew you could soar. Listen to adults who believe in you: teachers, coaches, professors, bosses. They’ll see gifts in you long before you believe in yourself.

I’m sorry you won’t grow up with Grandma alive. I hope somehow during your three short years with her that you’ll remember some of the memories. She loved you and your brother so very much. Even though she’s no longer with us, she’ll always be with you. I promise.

But darling, she waited for you and your brother. She was sick a very long time before an angel gave her wings. She just couldn’t leave this earth without meeting you two first.

I’m sorry it may seem like I let your brother off the hook more than I did for you.

But goose, it took me a while to find out who I’d be as a mother. I was anxious and awkward with you. Once your brother arrived, I knew what was important to our family, and what I could let go.

I’m sorry I don’t read to you as often at night anymore. You can do it yourself now. And I miss it too. Let’s go to the library and choose some longer books that we can read together this summer. Have you heard of Harry Potter? Do you promise? I promise.

But bud, do you know I sometimes stand in your doorway watching you read to yourself? I am so proud that you get excited over a new book, even a new bookmark. Maybe you are a little like your mommy? Keep reading. You’ll be smarter, more compassionate and you’ll always have an escape. A good book is even better than a Minecraft world.

I’m sorry you might catch me staring at you sometimes with a strange look. I just can’t believe how far we’ve come; and I’m by your side for the long haul. I promise.

But beautiful, a mother’s stare is so much more than a gaze. In those moments I see you as many things: I see the precious baby I once cradled, the little boy I have now and the good man I’m raising, all combined into one blond haired, blue eyed, gentle soul.

I’m sorry but I need to go now. I could go on and on.

But my dear, I’ve made mistakes, and you will too. It’s always okay to admit you were wrong. And it’s always okay to say I’m sorry. 

Love, Mommy


Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this, perhaps you’d enjoy 10 REASONS I WANT A THIRD KID (even though I hated babies)  xo, Emme



11 thoughts on “To My Firstborn. . . I’m Sorry

  1. Georgette

    You are such a talented writer!
    I enjoy your stories so much…what a gift for your boys and others,…so glad I know you


  2. Dot

    I’m trying to write thru the tears. Your writing keeps on getting better and better. S.H. is so lucky to have you for a mom


  3. Lillian Giordano

    Very true and very sentimental, too!

    Make ten copies for you precious “Firstborn” to have for his children and grandchildren.

    Beautiful thoughts.

    Keep writing…


    Mrs. Giordano


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