To My Firstborn on Your 14th Birthday: I’m Sorry I Didn’t Know

To My Firstborn Baby Boy:

(Yes I can still call you that. Even though today is your 14th birthday. Speaking of that…14??HOW??)

There are some things about motherhood that I knew in my heart from the moment I knew you were growing inside me.

I knew I wanted you with all my heart. I knew I loved you more than I ever thought possible. I knew you were the best thing I’d ever had a hand in creating.

There were other things I knew the moment they laid you in my arms.

I knew you were the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I knew your sweetness would know no bounds. I knew it was a privilege to be your mom.

And as you grew, I knew.


I knew you were smart. I knew you were sensitive. I knew you were creative. I knew you were loving. I used to say, “Oh Joshua, I hope you always love me as  much as you love me right now.” Because I knew I would ALWAYS love you with all my heart. I knew there was nothing you could do to make me love you less.

I knew I would be happy that you were growing up and a little sad, too, but still…I wasn’t even sad when you went to kindergarten, because I knew you would THRIVE in school.

But my darling, my firstborn, there was something I didn’t know. And it’s made me a bit of a mess. So, I just wanted to say “I’m sorry.”

I’m sorry, My Firstborn Boy, I didn’t know.

I didn’t know that puberty would wreck me. Not my puberty, I came through that one ok, but YOURS. I know this is weird to talk about, but son?

I didn’t know.

my firstborn

I didn’t know that my heart would crack the first time your voice did.

I didn’t know that you being TALLER THAN I AM would make me feel small and helpless.

I didn’t know that your once-abundant hugs would become a rare, spontaneous treat that could bring me to tears.

I didn’t know that as your body went from “skinny” to “lanky,” my breath would catch in my throat.

I didn’t know that I’d hear you laughing at a TV show in the other room and think “Is there a strange man in the house?”

I didn’t know that my eyes would go wide with shock when I realized that man was you.

But, I also didn’t know, son, how much FUN it would be to have a teen like you.

I didn’t know how much I would love making jokes with you that you were old enough to “get.”

I didn’t know how much fun it would be to love watching the same TV show as you do.

I didn’t know how much fun it would be to tease you about the million ways I could embarrass you in front of your friends.

I didn’t know how much I’d hear you talk about doing good with and being kind to your peers.

I didn’t know how much pride I’d feel when you’d repeatedly ask me over and over about serving and volunteering.

I didn’t know how amazing it would feel to see you handle disappointments so well.

The truth is, son, I didn’t know how amazing you could be. And I still don’t. But now I know how truly privileged I am to have a front row seat to your story, even if my supporting role fades out a bit as time goes on.

I know I’ll always miss the sweet baby boy that you were, but I have a feeling that I’ve have no idea how much joy is still in store for me as your mom.

my firstborn

And I know I sure am glad you’re my firstborn son.

Love Always,

Your Super Emotional and Embarrassing Mom

Jenny Rapson
Jenny is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor.

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