We finished up our book for the night. Esther chose an “I love you” type book…you know “I love you so much…blah blah blah…the stars and moon aligned when you were born..blah blah blah…my life was complete when I held you for the first time…blah blah blah…”
I closed the book, and kissed them both upon the head and said “I love you guys so much.” ( you know the customary response after reading one of these “I love you” type books…because we really need these book to read to them to explain how much we love them instead of, well hugging, kissing, saying I love you and making their meals and such…) And as I was reminding myself to throw this sappy shit away after they went to bed, Eloise honestly said to me…
“Mom, you don’t really love me that much. Nobody does. You all love Esther and Astrid more. Esther is fun and funny to be around and Astrid is the baby and I, I am just Eloise. I don’t do anything special and sometimes I think I am weird. None of the kids in school like me, my whole family hates me. You only ask me to do things for you…pick up my books, clean my room, set the table, fold laundry, watch the baby, help Esther in the shower. I am not good for anything else. Nobody loves me.”
She is 7. She is my firstborn. She is complicated and I admit we mix like oil and water. She is cautious, she is sensitive, she is smart, she is serious and she is right – she is not funny.
And I told her, “Eloise, I love you all the same with my whole entire heart and YOU, YOU Eloise have even a more special place in my heart because you were my first. You made me a mother. You don’t have to be funny for me to love you. You don’t have to be or do anything. I love you because you are you. My Eloise, forever.”
And then I wonder if most firstborns are this insecure and perhaps even selfish in their feelings? Do they need to be purposely told how awesome they are daily? Do they feel we have more kids just to take love away from them? That they were not enough?
I am not a firstborn. Did my brother feel like I got away with everything and our parents loved me more? Does my mom, the oldest of 7 children feel like she was loved the least with the burden of taking care of her siblings heavy on her shoulders?
Are you a firstborn? Do you feel unloved? Overly sensitive? The martyr by design? Do you need an extra hug today? Can I tell you to just suck it up and move on?