To My Dear Firstborn,
You’re my oldest child. The biggest. The ruler of the siblings.
You can dress yourself, brush your own teeth, and mostly follow instructions. You can help your little brother with his shoes and his coat.
You can read and write. You have your own hobbies and interests.
I don’t have to worry about you eating out of the trash or sprinting into traffic. You can take your own showers and brush your own teeth.
But with all your independence, it’s easy to forget that you’re still little, too.
You’re only seven. You don’t even need two digits to write your age.
You’re only seven. My favorite sweatshirt has been on this earth longer than you.
You’re only seven. You’re still afraid to sleep in the dark without a night light.
You’re only seven. You still have trouble tying your soccer cleats tightly enough to keep them on for an entire game.
I remember when we first brought your brother home, you were only two (and barely even that). Still, all of a sudden, you looked like a giant to me. After only two days in the hospital with a newborn, it seemed like you had tripled in size.
With each younger sibling that came along, you seemed to grow exponentially bigger. My expectations for you have grown bigger over that time as well.
“Why can’t you can’t you do this yourself?”
“Why are you giving me such a hard time?”
“Why can’t you listen the first time you’re told?”
The answer is: because you’re only seven.
Because although you’re no longer a baby, you’re still baby enough.
Still, I promise you that I will keep trying hard to remember.
I will try not to push you to grow up too quickly. I will try not to let my expectations outpace your reality. I will try to remember that, while you may be my oldest child, you’re far from old.
You’re still growing, changing, and learning what it’s like to function in this world.
After all, you’re still little, too.
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