Knowing you are done having babies is a weird life transition. At least, it has been for me. Sometimes I feel all 35.75 of my years, but most of the time I just feel like I’m perpetually 26. It was at 26 where I thought “Eh, I could have kids.”, so it’s strange and bittersweet to think that 10 years later my family is complete and that part of my life is behind me.
It doesn’t help that this past year has flown. At times I actually feel like I am just free falling. Didn’t I JUST have a baby? How is he almost 1?
I also feel like all of these feelings are amplified because with him I am also experiencing my last firsts.
Can you believe he was once this little?
The first time I held him — also the last time I will hold MY OWN newborn.
The first time I nursed him.
The first time he spit up all over me (ok, I won’t miss that).
The first time he smiled at me (which, to be honest, I don’t actually remember – #newbornhaze).
The first time he peed all over himself (now that, I remember).
The first time he heard his voice.
The first time he laughed.
The first time he sat up on his own.
The first time he slept thru the night (oh wait, that hasn’t happened yet).
And so many more…
He’s now working on some pretty major milestones – pulling up, standing, and possibly crawling and eventually walking — and this whole “last firsts” thing is really hitting home. At times, I feel pretty overwhelmed with over it. I cried when I realized he had teeth (especially those top teeth!). I tear up when he’s playing with a baby toy that belonged to Braeden. I mean, didn’t Braeden just play with that toy and now he’s almost 8?? And I rush to record him scooting, yet again, because at ANY MOMENT he could just decide to start crawling instead.
Have you seen him scoot? It’s pretty freaking adorable.
I’m a ridiculously nostalgic person to begin with, but this whole “last firsts” thing? It might be taking me a bit over the edge. In fact, I already feel bad for Evan. He will be the last kid in our family to start Kindergarten, graduate from high school, and move out of the house. Oh, who am I kidding, he’s not moving out of the house. Right?
I admit that I am more patient with him because I know he’s my last. I savor the small things. I don’t rush the big events or hope he hits his milestones sooner. I relish his babyness and soak in the open mouth kisses and sleepy snuggles. I get why the baby is, in fact, always “the baby.” The irony is that most of the time, they grow up the fastest.
I know that there are so many “firsts” that I still have to look forward to, but as we approach the “last first birthday” I can’t help but get wrapped up in the small things. Last night, as I rocked my last baby to sleep I thought about how thankful I was to have any of these firsts… so grateful. It’s so easy to get caught up in the sleep deprivation, the stress, the anxiety, and well, the work. At times, it can really get the best of you. However, in the same breath that I will tell you it’s HARD, harder than you ever expect or imagine, I will tell you that these little people — and all of their firsts– are worth it. Every second.
Maybe if I knew how fast it would go, I might have tried to live in the moment more. Or maybe I did it just right? That’s the thing with parenthood. You never really know how you’re doing… which is what makes those firsts so much sweeter.