To My Firstborn: I Didn’t Know

Dear Firstborn Baby Boy:

(Yes I can still call you that.)

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, 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.


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

I didn’t know that you being just as tall as me 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.

Jenny Rapson
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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