To My First Born Who Is 18 Today
You were born 18 years ago to the day, although it feels like only yesterday I was on my knees in the footwell of the car as your dad drove at a snail’s pace due to black ice on the roads to the hospital. I had only just turned 19 myself, still a child when you were placed in my arms.
Was I frightened at the thought of becoming a mother? I was terrified. this tiny creature, screaming away and then she gazed up at me, our eyes locked and in that very instant I knew I would give up my life for you in a heartbeat. They say, love, at first sight, does exist and it does because I felt it the moment I looked at you.
This tiny creature, screaming at the top of her then gazed up at me, our eyes locked and in that very instant I knew I would give up my life for you in a heartbeat.
I loved you from the tip of your toes to the top of your head.
I had no clue what motherhood would entail, I made it up as I went along, no amount of baby books can prepare you for the responsibility of raising another human being, but I think I did a pretty good job.
You were an easy baby, I wouldn’t put you down, carried you everywhere I went and slept beside you. You were named after an Elton John song and your great nana was so overjoyed that we named you Rose as a middle name, she adored you and I know she would be very proud of the person you have become.
You were soon talking and walking and teaching me so much about myself and the world around me. You learn so much when you become a mother, mainly the meaning of unconditional love, but also worry and fear.
I cried the day you started nursery and didn’t actually go home that first day, afraid you may need me, so I loitered close by to the school, but you loved it and actually cried when I had to take you home. Thanks for that!
From your cute little bob hairstyle when you started primary school to your one-sided shaved head when you left school, I brushed that hair, wiped your snotty nose and kissed away the scrapes of falling over. I felt the pain burn deep inside when you cried on my shoulder over an argument with the girlfriend or the stresses of our teenage years and know this, the worst pain in the world is seeing your child hurting and not being able to stop it.
The countless nights I have laid awake worrying about you, when you were ill I refused to leave your side, (I still check in on you now when you sleep and your poorly).
When you wore clothes that I hated, put silly stretchy things in your ears and I thought you looked ridiculous, I just smiled and said: “yes that looks nice”. I have always encouraged you to be your own person and I think I got that part right.
I have made many mistakes over the past 18 years, I didn’t always get this parenting thing right but I want you to know that I have tried my best. If I got anything of importance wrong, know I am sorry, I am human after all.
I hope you can now understand why all those times when you stomped up the stairs, slammed doors or uttered curse words under your breath and hated me while screaming “you’re the worst mum ever, that’s so not fair” that I was only doing my job, to prepare you for the world as a happy and secure adult, which you now are.
Happy 18th Birthday!