Friday, January 14, 2011

The last "firsts"

With your first child, every new milestone is remarkable and awe-inspiring. The first yawn, first smile, first tooth, first tooth lost. Learning to sit up, to stand, taking the first step all on her own. The first word, the first day of school. All the firsts are exciting because they are the “first”.

With the second child, as a parent you realize that not only is the first amazing, but also that the “last” is fleeting. The toothless smile, before she could sit up, the last time he crawled, the last time he babbled before saying a real word. The last diaper before being fully potty trained. The last time he will want to kiss you by at the bus-stop. You don’t see the last time coming and before you realize it, you’ve almost forgotten it.

When you get to your last child, whether the third or fourth or fifth or tenth, you realize that this is the last “first” you will experience. This is the last first tooth lost. The last last day of pre-school and the last first day of Kindergarten. The last first visit to Santa, the last first birthday.

And you slowly come to realize that parenting is a continuous loop of witnessing the firsts and last, greetings and farewells. Our growing family still has a lot of firsts to experience, lasts to keep in our memories, and last firsts to make us wonder “where did all the time go”?

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