Tuesday, October 03, 2006

This Erma Bombeck column, originally appeared in 1971, Titled:
I've Always Loved You Best

I dedicate this post to my children and to a fellow blogger: http://jellyheadrambles.blogspot.com/

It is normal for children to want assurance that they are loved. Having all the warmth of the former 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 this 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 TV 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, open pins and three-hour naps.

You were the beginning.

To the middle child...
I've always loved you the best because you drew the dumb spot in the family and it made you stronger for it.

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 the 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 milk stained bibs. The lower bunk. The cracked baseball bat. The baby book, barren but for a recipe for graham 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 to tommorow. 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.


Anonymous Alison said...

Erma was great.

Thanks for posting this!

2:08 PM  
Blogger jellyhead said...

What a lovely, heartfelt post (and thank you so much for the dedication Rel)

Love doesn't always have to be expressed via hugs and kisses. I'm sure your children know without a doubt that you love them profoundly. If they read this tribute, they will have that belief reaffirmed.

5:15 PM  
Blogger jellyhead said...

errrr.....got it wrong here - I thought you wrote this post in the *style* of Erma Bombeck (see what a good writer I think you are!), but now I realise it was an actual column of Erma's. So you probably don't need my silly reassurances re not hugging and kissing your kids much! Anyway ...(embarrassed at my stupidity)....I'm off to be silly elsewhere!

5:49 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Great Post!!
Gotta love Erma!!

7:36 PM  
Blogger PEA said...

I always did love the way Erma wrote...I had never seen this one and I must say it's wonderful! What a delightful way of reassuring children that they are special, no matter which order they were born:-)

8:31 PM  
Blogger Gemma said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I Enjoy your posts....as for the Mexican food in NY....Noooo...tried that
Oscar Wilde is the greatest...Love him...Yes again on Erma Bombeck.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That`s such a beautiful dedication to your children! I hope they get to read it too :)


5:00 PM  
Blogger Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

Woops....I didn`t mean to be anonymous :)


5:04 PM  
Blogger Catch said...

OH Rel, this was so heart warming!!! I loved Erma Bombeck, she was such a great lady. My Father was never a huggy kissy man, but I always knew he loved me. ( I tell my brothers he loved me best!..lol) And I loved him, to me he was larger than life, and even though he was a huggy kissy man, I never failed to kiss him goodbye when I left my parents house.

2:32 AM  
Blogger Grish said...


3:45 AM  
Blogger Lee-ann said...

Rel you have touched me with your knowing!

Your words read as if you know what I feel inside!

I am a woman who can touch the face of my first born (he is now 36) and he will touch my face back not push me away.

thank you for this post filled with truth and wonder of being a parent.

7:44 PM  

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