There’s just something about your firstborn.
They’re like the cutest little guinea pigs that you truly believe God shouldn’t have entrusted you with because you’re going to break them or mess them up in some way.
Firstborns are the science experiment and you’re the crazy scientist that’s being driven mad by lack of sleep and the new marker art pieces that dot your favorite furniture.
You fear germs and sanitize everything, including the bottle of sanitizer because…. first born.
As a new parent you baby proof and toddler proof everything, including the toilet that the 30 year old can no longer get open.
You try to teach them sign language, spanish and french but all they can say is the curse word that they heard when someone in your house hit their finger with the hammer.
And yet somehow they make it past toddler hood and you have an actual child on your hands.
No longer are they preschool aged. Their legs are too longer to shop in the baby section any longer and you grieve because that was your baby.
And just as you feel you might have mastered having a toddler or preschooler on your hands, it’s a whole new ball game with kids who don’t want your help.
Now you have a child on your hands, one that builds a Starbucks in Minecraft for you but then knocks it down and replaces it with a Toys R’ Us.
Don’t forget how you grimace as you walk into a fancy event with a child wearing purple unicorn tights with a lime green sequined dress that somebody mailed to you obviously to get you back for some evil deed. Independence, it’s all the rage with the ten and under crowd.
Childhood – when their motto is “I know” and the attitudes start showing up and showing off.
And you think to yourself, “I’m pretty sure I’ll get a bill for their counseling one day”.
But just as you think it’s all downhill from here, they step up to the plate and knock a homer out of the park.
Yes, it’s hard but their love, compassion and mercy know no bounds just as their social perceptions are still innocent. They just want to trust and be friends with everyone – except you because you told them to load the dishwasher, which was rude.
However…. Then the day shows up where they lay in your bed just to talk with you. They ask you repeatedly when they can start wearing makeup and they constantly ask if they can help you because they want to be with you and learn from you.
You’ll notice that all the sudden they’re taking longer in the bathroom to get ready in the mornings. More days than not their hair will actually be brushed and maybe even styled.
They plan out their outfits and start organizing their keepsakes.
Sure you’re going to fight back the urge to swaddle them and tell them to just stop growing!
But one day you’ll wake up and realize that you’re now a parent of an 11 year old. Your first born has blown past most of their childhood and is heading towards the teen years with gusto.
And then you’ll realize that you haven’t screwed them up (yet), they’re amazing people that teach their little sisters how to do cart wheels and love basketball because their dad loves basketball.
They won’t ask for toys for that birthday because they’re 11, which is “like way too old for toys” yet they still plop down on the floor to play Littlest Petshop when younger friends come over.
Later they’ll ask you if they can help make their birthday dinner and bake cookies to take to their friends to celebrate their birthday.
Sigh… and you’ll write a blog post about how amazing it is to be a mother to an 11 year old, even if they make fun of your gray hair on a daily basis.
And maybe you’ll even bawl like a baby, which will remind of you that tiny baby with the wild mohawk hair, who is now 11 with sometimes washed hair.
Happy Birthday Gracie. You are amazing.