For every first, there is a last. I am spending a lot of time monitoring my youngest for her firsts, not wanting to miss the first smile or step or laugh. But at the same time, I realized when I tried to lift my oldest after she fell off her bike, that it had been a long time since I carried her. In fact, I could barely get her in the house. She is bigger now and needs me in new and different ways–and no longer needs me in the old, familiar ways.
There will be first steps but the last time you rock them to sleep.
There will be first days of school but the last time you’re welcome to stay at the birthday party.
There will be the first bite of real food but the last time you all sit down for Tuesday night dinner.
There will be first soccer games but the last time they need you to tie their shoes.
There will be first words but the last time they say “hold me, mommy”.
Watching them grow is such a privilege.
For every first, there is a last. None of it stays the same and when you’re in the trenches, that is a welcomed sentiment. When they’re driving off on their own for the first time, it’s a dreadful reality.
Motherhood is a constant tension between letting go and holding on. Here’s to hoping we can notice it all–firsts and lasts and in-betweens.
This sweet children’s book by one of my favorite authors is a good reminder of this. It’s not about enjoying every moment–an often frustrating ideal when you’re tired and overworked. It’s more about recognizing that it won’t always be this way–and thats both good and bad.
For every first, there is a last.