I knew that having a child would mean a lot of firsts. First smile. First tooth. First steps. First word.
But what I didn’t know was that it would also bring so many lasts.
Like the firsts, I never know when they will come. What’s different, though, is that I don’t recognize them until they are already long gone: The last time I held her in my arms and danced like mad until she finally fell asleep. The last time I lay her down in her crib, inch by inch, praying wildly that she wouldn’t wake up. The last time I nursed her. The last time I changed her diaper. The last time I helped her hop down from the slide. The last time I put her in her crib, instead of watching her climb by herself into her big girl bed. Some things she decided she didn’t want to do anymore, others I realized I could no longer do for her. I didn’t know, at the time, that these things would never happen again.
It makes me think of all the other lasts in my life that have passed me by in secret, large and small, important or of no real consequence.
I celebrate every new thing my daughter does, and I try to watch closely for the lasts.