My baby, the youngest of three turns two this month. Birthdays are always surrounded by a variety of emotions for mommas. Over my 6 years of mommahood, I’ve celebrated 11 birthdays for my children. I’ve never been overly emotional about any of them. This one is different though. This will be my first time celebrating a 2-year-old birthday without another on the way. I’ve never celebrated my children turning two without being pregnant. It’s our last second birthday. Although I could look at this as just another birthday for one of my kids, I can’t help but notice how obviously different this one is. It’s the end of the toddler season and the start of many others.
I know it sounds silly. But to me, this is just the beginning, the domino that starts a cycle of firsts that are actually lasts.
Today, it’s the last two-year-old birthday. Soon it will be the last diaper I have to change. (Party anyone?) Then the first time walking a kindergartener to their first day of school without a sibling trailing behind. Next it’s the last first loose tooth and the last first ride without training wheels.
His firsts will always be my lasts.
As much as that breaks my heart, such is life. This is what I signed up for. Seasons change, babies don’t keep, and life goes on, no matter how much you try to slow it down.
And as I’ve pondered this change of season, as we celebrate our last second birthday, I’ve come to a conclusion: this change of season is good.
It’s good to have firsts, and it’s even better to have lasts. Seasons change for a reason.
Summer wouldn’t be as sweet if it went on forever and we never had to send our kids back to school. We wouldn’t treasure the cool crisp mornings of fall as the leaves change if we didn’t know that winter were looming around the corner.
It’s the same with our kids, isn’t it? Those of you with multiple littles, do you ever find yourself thankful that you get to do some stages over? It’s easier to graduate your first born from the crib when you know there’s another who will fill it soon. The last day of kindergarten isn’t as emotional knowing there are other younger siblings who get to do the fun kinder stuff all over again.
It’s different with he baby of the family though.
When the baby turns two, you know there’s not going to be another following in his foot steps. So you linger a little longer.
You snuggle more before bed and sing one more song. You let him get away with a little bit more than his siblings ever did, because he’s the baby and you won’t get to go through this stage again.
So even though I’m shedding a few tears as I wrote this post, I’m going to try really hard to enjoy his firsts even though they are my lasts. I’ll let him grow up just as he should. But I’m also going to soak up each new word. I’ll stop what I’m doing a little more often when he says, “Mommy wash peez!” I’m going to take a few more pictures and I might even overgram the birthday boy. I’m going to buy party hats and make pancakes on his birthday even though he doesn’t really know what’s going on. We will celebrate this last second birthday and the brevity of the season which made it so sweet, because it’s true what they say: the days are long but the years are short.