First born

This is Carley and her first baby, Holland.  I had the opportunity to take their pictures this week.  
This picture makes me think back to when my first baby was born.   I held him like 23 hours out of the day.  He would sleep on my chest.  I just couldn't believe how something so perfect and beautiful could come out of me.  I had such high expectations for him.  And for me.  I wanted to be the perfect mother.  At the young age of 22, being a mother was quite overwhelming.  The responsibility of a real, living, breathing human was VERY overwhelming.  The love I had for him was crazy.  
Yet, as he grew - I had to learn that part of loving a child is teaching them to stand on their own.  Literally and figuratively.  I always wanted to protect him from being hurt, but sometimes you need to let them hurt a little to learn that they have the strength and the power to choose the path out of harm's way.  What hurts even more is watching your child choose to stay on the path of harm's way. If any of you have a rebellious teenager, you know what I'm saying.  Parenting is so beautiful and SO scarey.  You just want that damn manual telling you how to do it!  I know the correct christian-ese thing to say is that the Bible is our manual. True, but aren't you thankful for other parents who have "been there" that can share their trials.  We aren't alone in our trials.  In parenting.  There aren't any perfect children out there.  Please don't try and make yours.  The more I share about my struggles with parenting, the more I find I am not alone.  Thankfully God has placed some wonderful moms in my life to laugh and cry with.  The more transparent you become, the more normal you will feel.  Just remember, you are not alone.  Reach out, because chances are - there's another mom out there that needs you just like you need her.