For reasons not yet known, you were chosen to be my oldest. The eldest. The first one. Numero uno. The “test case”.
I am an amazing mom. I am confident enough in myself to say that out loud, but I am also confident enough to admit that I have absolutely no freaking clue what I am doing. I did not take a class on how to raise amazing children. Your dad and I were not given a proficiency test before we were allowed to bring you home from the hospital. There are no continuing education classes. We are taking the phrase “winging it” to an entirely new level.
I watch you. I watch your face. I see the confusion and the anger when you ask a question and I don’t know the answer. I see the look of discouragement when on family movie nights you have to channel your inner six-year-old. I see the frustration, I see the tears, I see it all.
I see it all and I feel all the guilt.
I feel guilty for not knowing everything that I should. For not knowing how to explain to you why, or what for, or how. For not having the right words at the right moment. For not having a damn clue if I’m doing it right.
I feel guilty for using you as if you are the guinea pig in this experiment known as parenthood.
Yet at the same time I feel some relief.
Relief that you were the one chosen to be given to me first.
Relief that we are on this journey together.
Relief that you have more patience with me than I do with myself.
Relief that despite the vibe I get from all the eye rolls and door slams, you don’t hate me. Yet.
Relief that you are the one showing me that when I don’t have much faith in myself, you still believe in me.
That even when I make you angry, you (eventually) understand that I make the decision that I feel is right for you. While it may not be the right choice, it’s still my decision and you respect me enough to honor it.
Relief that I’m lucky enough to be able to say that I’m your mother.
Most of all I’m proud. Proud of the young woman you are becoming despite my moments of less-than-stellar parenting. Proud that you take the great moments and make them even better. Proud of the example you set for your siblings. Proud that you are my daughter and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you. The sky is the limit.
I love you. Thank you for being amazing.
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