I wanted to take a moment to apologize to you on behalf of all moms and dads out there. You have definitely had it rough, sweet pea. You, a beautifully perfect being, were born, the first child to wildly inexperienced, overwhelmed, but good-intentioned parents. Hopefully, your birth was met with a joyful welcome; if it wasn’t, I want to apologize even more for something that wasn’t ever your fault.
None of this was.
None of the panic and stress-hormone-filled milk that you received from your mom who was woken up for the 6th time that first evening you were born. None of the angry jabs with the silicone nipple of the bottle your parents were trying to give you when you wouldn’t stop crying and hadn’t eaten for a few hours. None of the tightening of large hands on your incredibly tiny and fragile rib cage when you wouldn’t fall asleep after 2 hours of rocking, singing, and around and around the perimeter of the bedroom.
Sweetheart, you deserved so much more than the incredibly high expectations your parents had for you. You deserved more than a schedule that you should have been eating/sleeping/shitting/performing by. You deserved more than the quiet moments of panic and doubts your parents had when other babies on the block were sitting on their own or sleeping on their own. You deserved more than having your parents look at you in anger and disgust for rubbing the all-organic food that they made for you all over your new outfit instead of into your mouth.
You, my dear first-born child, were a perfect human being, in every sense of perfect. As adults, rarely are we ever given something so full of potential, something exclusively ours, that we can make into beings better than ourselves. Most of us try really hard and don’t get it right. We are human, after all, darling child, and what is human if not the very essence of fallibility? First-time parents want to know it all, they look for the very font of information on all things parenting so that they don’t screw up, so that you have the very best possible chance from the very first moment to be spectacular. But we do. We screw up and hurt you and scare you in the process.
What we don’t realize is that by focusing on that one singular thing, to make you spectacular, we lose sight of the fact that you already inherently are.
But we don’t know that at first, my sweet princes and princesses. You had to become our teachers. You had to teach us, through your patience and undying love and kindness, that we can’t let the fear of our failure as parents keep us from focusing on the brilliance of your perfection. If we go on to have more kids, to have seconds and thirds and fourths, they will have benefited from what YOU have taught us.
So, I’m sorry for everything you went through in this mad laboratory experiment we conducted. And you know what? Despite your unknowing involvement, you have beaten the odds. You ARE spectacular, no matter how many times we have messed up. No matter how many times we made well-intentioned but shitty choices. You are a study in resilience, grit, forgiveness, and unconditional love.
Again, I’m sorry.
On second thought, I'm NOT sorry.
You are perfect in every single way, darling first-born child, no matter who your parents are or what they did. You are a great gift. And for every decision we have ever made that has gotten you to this point in your life, we are forever grateful.