Last Friday we talked about the plight of the middle child and I gave you my point of view as a parent as to why some of the scientific facts about middle children may actually be true. This week I’d like to take on the subject of the oldest child, once again speaking from my own personal experience. Oldest children are usually strong over-achievers who put a lot of pressure on themselves to do everything perfectly. They believe that their parents have high expectations of them, which can cause some anxiety, but having once been the sole subject of their parents’ affections, they are also usually confident and secure in their ability to succeed. They tend to be more comfortable around adults, and often give forth a sense of maturity and presence beyond their years. They are not without their faults or complaints, however. Their perfectionist tendencies may make them unable to admit when they are wrong. They may blame us, as parents, for having held them to higher standards. “I never got to stay out that late. My curfew was always 12:00. Why does he get to come home at 1:00? I would never have gotten away with that. I had to be perfect.” Such are the things I’ve often heard my oldest say over the years.
It is true that when you’re expecting your first child there is a phenomenal sense of wonder and awe surrounding the whole experience. First there is the idea of this child that’s going to come into your lives and turn you from a couple into party of 3. You are absolutely enamored with this thought and fall in love with this baby long before he or she actually arrives in the world. There is nothing to curb the rush of emotion you feel. You’re blissfully unaware of the long sleepless nights to come, and you have no realization that your last moments as free adults are winding down. Armed with the mountain of information you’ve studied on how to raise children, you see yourselves as ready, willing, and able to take on this new adventure. Your first child is the keeper of all your hopes and dreams as a parent. He or she is who makes them become a reality for you.
My first born will tell you that we were incredibly demanding parents, especially me. She will say that I drove her to perfection, that she worried constantly about my reactions and expectations, and that her brothers got away with murder. That may all be true; honestly it’s hard for me to look at it objectively. I saw so much promise in her that I wanted her to be all that she could be. I wanted her to realize every bit of her potential. I think that’s what we want for all our children, but we do tend to pile it more onto the firstborns because they are the focus of our attention, and because we simply have no idea what we’re doing. When the second child comes along, I actually believe that we become slightly less neurotic and more well-rounded parents. Our demands become more relaxed because our time and attention is divided, and we can only expect so much of ourselves, let alone our kids.
So what can I tell you about my firstborn? She is amazingly intelligent with an insightful and perceptive way of looking at the world. She’s a tremendous listener, and if you go to her with a problem she’ll try very hard to view it objectively and give you her best advice. Unless you’re a part of her immediate family, in which case you can expect to be subject to a fair amount of eye rolling and head shaking before any empathy sets in. She devours books and can speak for hours about them with incredible passion. She has wonderfully soulful eyes that seem to know a million things, and an outwardly calm appearance that immediately puts you at ease. That’s why it’s such a surprise to learn that she can also terrorize the house with a level of foot stomping and door slamming that sends us all running for cover. She’s a gifted writer with a long list of academic accomplishments who can debate an issue with surprising ferocity. She loves the challenge of navigating a transit system, is fabulously organized, and can plan a vacation like no one else. Our trip to Paris last year was one of the best experiences ever for me, although we did have two fights while we were there, one that nearly drove me to seek asylum at the U.S. embassy. She’s a gifted teacher who loves her students, and it’s abundantly clear that they love her back. She values and respects them as people, and has no problem sitting and talking through things with them, rather than just being dismissive and making them feel insignificant. I think I am most proud of her for that. I know that I can rely on her for certain things, and she’ll always come through, unless it involves what she calls “domestic duties” like cooking, clearing the table, vacuuming… nope, don’t even bother asking, it’s not going to happen. My first pregnancy did not come easily, and so I wished for my firstborn with every birthday candle I blew out and with every shooting star that I saw. She truly did hold all my hopes and dreams as a parent, and although my expectations may have been high, I have never been disappointed.
Choosing a cocktail for her was easy. Today is National Tea Day and I’m wrapping up a week of talking about tea cocktails. She loves matcha tea and so a basic sour with gin, lemon juice, and a matcha tea simple syrup was perfect for her. With love Wendy. I wished for you and you came true.
I Wished for You
Place the ingredients in the bottom half of a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake for 15-20 seconds or until very cold. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. Enjoy!
*Bring 8 ounces of water to a boil and add 4 oz of sugar and 1 tablespoon of matcha tea powder. Heat gently until both fully dissolve. Store in a mason jar in the fridge for about 2 weeks.
I also want to tell you all that I’m going to be working as a brand ambassador and sales rep for Cooper River Distillers right in Camden. I’m so excited to be a part of the team there and to have the opportunity to work for James Yoakum, who is so obviously passionate about the amazing products he creates. I’ll also be working some shifts at the bar there on Fridays and Saturdays, which I’m over the moon about. Please come see me! The only down side is that I’ll be changing my blog post schedule up just a bit. I’ll still post on Instagram every day, but I’ll only be writing on the blog itself on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. I’ll be posting just a bit later each morning, probably closer to 7:15. Thanks for reading and for all your support!