I heard this essay read in church some years ago. It is a very touching way to describe a mother's love for each of her children.
I've Always Loved You Best
by Erma Bombeck
It is normal for children to want assurance that they are loved.
Having all the warmth of the Berlin Wall, I have always admired women
who can reach out to pat their children and not have them flinch.
Feeling more comfortable on paper, I wrote the following for each of my children.
To the First-born: I’ve always loved you best because you were our
first miracle. You were the genesis of a marriage, the fulfillment of
young love, the promise of our infinity.
You sustained us through the hamburger years. The first apartment
furnished in Early Poverty … our first mode of transportation (1955
feet) … the 7-inch television set we paid on for 36 months.
You wore new, had unused grandparents and more clothes than a Barbie
doll. You were the “original model” for unsure parents trying to work
the bugs out. You got the strained lamb and three-hour naps.
You were the beginning.
To the Middle Child: I’ve always loved you the best because you drew a dumb spot in the family and it made you stronger.
You cried less, had more patience, wore faded, and never in your life
did anything “first,” but it only made you more special. You are the
one we relaxed with and realized a dog could kiss you and you wouldn’t
get sick. You could cross a street by yourself long before you were old
enough to get married, and the world wouldn’t come to an end if you went
to bed with dirty feet.
You were the continuance.
To the Baby: I’ve always loved you the best because endings generally
are sad and you are such a joy. You readily accepted the mild-stained
bibs. The lower bunk. The cracked baseball bat. The baby book, barren
but for a recipe for graham cracker pie crust that someone jammed
between the pages.
You are the one we held onto so tightly. For you see, you are the
link with the past that gives a reason for tomorrow. You darken our
hair, quicken our steps, square our shoulders, restore our vision, and
give us humor that security and maturity can’t give us.
When your hairline takes on the shape of Lake Erie and your children tower over you, you will still be “the Baby.”
You were the culmination.