A Year of Firsts…And Lasts
We took this picture last year, the night before Owen was born. It was our last picture as a family of five and if you look close enough, you can see how puffy my eyes were, how swollen my cheeks. I was sad and excited. I had cried because I didn’t like the pictures taken before this one, because the boys were less than cooperative, because the frustration was bubbling over and mixing with my all-over-the-place emotions. I was ready to scrap the entire thing and then it came together.
I knew it was the first of many lasts this year would bring.
But I also knew that the next morning would be the first of so many firsts I couldn’t wait to experience. I remember when it hit me, like really, really hit me that we were having a baby. With my previous two pregnancies, my water broke at home and we never made it to our actual scheduled date. This time around we woke up at five in the morning, got showered and dressed, kissed our kids goodbye, thanked my mom for coming over, and drove to the hospital. It was such a calm, serene morning. I like to think Owen captured the spirit of his pregnancy and delivery because everything about it was just perfect. So we went through the required hospital stuff and my IVs were all set up. It was a quiet moment in the triage room when I looked over at the counter. On it there was a collection of items we had to bring into the operating room. And on top of it all there was a teeny-tiny diaper. That’s when it hit me. That was the first moment that it became so real, so tangible, so emotional.
After that a barrage of firsts rolled in. His first cries. His first pictures. My first time holding him. The first time his name slipped past my lips. The first time the boys met him – and instantly fell in love with him.
And in the year that followed with every first, came the last. The first time he rolled over was the last time I would capture one of my babies jumping over that hurdle. The first time he said “momma” was the last time my heart would skip a beat in my chest for that reason. The first time he took a step was the last time my baby was…a baby.
Yet with every “last” I know I have a lifetime left of moments that will steal my heart. I hope all of my boys will never be so big that they won’t cuddle up next to me and tell me they love me, even if the “cuddling” is replaced with a phone call from some college faraway. I hope I’ll always be the one they turn to when a boo-boo needs kissing, even when that boo-boo is a broken heart. And I hope my home will always be the place where they feel loved, comforted, and at peace.
Tomorrow when Owen wakes up, it will be his first day waking up as a one-year old, his first wake-up as a toddler, marking today as his last wake-up as a baby. But having the ability to see into the future, at least as far as his older brother’s allow me to see, I know it is far from the last day he will be my baby.
Because like my love for him, and for all my sons, there will never be a last day for me to love them.
Happy birthday, Owen. And thank you for giving me, Daddy, Jack, Brayden, and Lucas a year of firsts and lasts we’ll never forget.