One recent weekend my children had a first. It wasn’t something I was looking for like I had when they were babies. It was something that struck me as we were in the moment and filled me with joy.
We went sleigh riding. It was something we had never attempted due to lack of equipment, the children’s ages each winter up to now, and fear of how the whole activity might actually go down. Thankfully sleds were gifted by their aunt and uncle this Christmas, and I was feeling particularly brave that day.
My babies are growing up. There won’t be any babies in addition to them. As sad as that makes me, I’ve also come to the point where I have to accept it before the sadness consumes me. As I see my children growing up, I miss the excitement that comes with all the first firsts.
The first firsts are some of the most monumental, most adorable, and generally occur rapidly, one after the other in that magical first year of life. Sleeping, rolling over, smiles, laughs, first holidays, first words – the sound of Mama the first time, first steps-seeing wobbly, chubby babies propel themselves forward, first purées I made for them and the squishy face they make tasting them.
Now I am three years into mothering my last babies, and I miss the magic that comes with the early stages. I have been spending so much time missing the baby firsts that I won’t experience again that I have forgotten to live in the moment and see the big kid firsts that are happening.
As I was snapping pictures of them zooming down hills, it hit me that this was a first. It was just as special as a first step or first word. I’ve taken for granted all the firsts my children still have left.
I haven’t given all the recent firsts of my five and three-year-olds enough credit for being equally special as their first firsts.
My twins had their first day of preschool in October. They have functioned separately in classrooms, made new friends, and learned new skills. My five-year-old is starting to read and spell, which has been amazing. I may not have viewed them the same as the first-smile sweetness; nevertheless, they are life-changing skills. FCMB contributor Alisa wrote that seven is a magical age, and I look forward to seeing that for myself.
What unexpected firsts have you experienced with your big kids?