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Firsts and Lasts

May 21, 2013

Some recent firsts:

  • First day totally solo (except for a surprise afternoon visit from Uncle Colin), including first time taking all three to music class by myself.
  • First time at the newly renovated neighborhood playground.
Daddy spins our three on the new merry-go-round.

Daddy spins our three on the new merry-go-round.

  • First splinter extraction (from Audrey’s palm).  I was afraid of her reaction, but a binky, Munny, and the deft handling of a sanitized safety pin helped her handle it like a warrior.
  • First glycerin suppository insertion on a toddler.  Not something I look forward to having to repeat.
  • First time taking all three kids to the park by myself.  Since there’s construction, the space between the outside fence to the sidewalk and the inner construction fence is open; mostly it’s used by dog owners as a mini off-leash park.  But it’s also perfect for keeping three almost-two-year-olds contained while letting them run.
Audrey runs down the hill (as she runs pretty much everywhere).

Audrey runs down the hill (as she runs pretty much everywhere).

Which reminded me today that with every first there’s a last.  We went for a walk in the wagon today, and didn’t get very far before there was a request to see diggers, and with that the park to kick the soccer ball and run.  We used to take hour-long walks in that wagon starting last summer, when I had what seemed like huge stretches of time by myself with them.

Jamie's first encounter of the amphibian kind.

Jamie’s first encounter of the amphibian kind.

Some transitions are anticipated eagerly:  the first time we go to a playground and I don’t panic when someone climbs up the highest part of the play structure.  The first time they say “I love you” spontaneously.

Some are dreaded:  giving up the bottle.  Giving up the binky.  Potty training.

We don't even remember the first time we washed hands before it's a given.

We don’t even remember the first time we washed hands before eating…now it’s a given.

We have learned that most transitions go more smoothly than we expect them to.  Which we take to mean:  the expectant panic and trepidation make everything go fine, so we should continue to panic.

Seriously, I fear potty training perhaps more than I feared my first day of school as a teacher.  However, I am trying to rationalize and breathe and remind myself that worry doesn’t change anything; it just makes me more miserable.

So many lasts have passed virtually unnoticed:

  • the last time all three slept in one crib
  • the last night feed or dream feed
  • the last bottle
  • the last night with the monitor on all night
  • the last bath in the baby bathtub
  • the last ride in the infant car seat
  • the last week that Audrey was up crying several times most nights

Sometimes, especially in the first year or so, I got caught up looking forward to firsts that I lost sight of the continuum.  Most things change slowly rather than suddenly.  (What was their first word?  Who knows.)

This is a reminder to me to enjoy the firsts, embrace the nostalgia of the lasts, and be present with these guys as they keep growing…and growing…

One Comment leave one →
  1. Richard Ruth permalink
    May 24, 2013 11:53 am

    No matter how much I read I never cease to be amazed at the beauty of your writing.

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