First steps, first words, first smile, first time they call you "mama". We love to celebrate the firsts in our children's lives. They are usually monumental at least in our minds. The firsts represent new beginnings, new accomplishments, new hopes, new dreams.
But what about the lasts?
The last day that they crawled because they took their first step.
The last day the nursed because they were able to drink from a bottle.
The last time you had put on their socks, clothes, shoes because "I can do it myself mom".
These lasts in their lives seem to represent the independence that we wish for them and know they need to develop into. The independence we secretly wish didn't come so quickly.
My youngest is accomplishing a last in his 3 year old life. Being completely potty trained. The other day he walked down the hallway without announcing he needed to go potty, did his thing and came back out. No help from me, just doing what he's been taught and finally doing it himself. It was the last day he needed me to help in any way.
Lasts for our children tend to be bittersweet. And we often miss them.
We as parents have our lasts too. We don't really notice them, but maybe we should.
The last day we worked at a job that stressed us out. The last day of being in debt. The last day of being single.
Celebrate the first and the lasts. As they say, what goes up, must come down. It's true here too, at least in most cases. If there is a first, there usually has to be a last. Sometimes, yes, it's an unpleasant or sad thing to experience a last. But life is what you make of it, the good, the bad, the ugly or the unfair. Celebrate new beginnings, new possibilities.
Celebrate the first and the last. They all mean something.