There’s something about your first born that will always hold a special place in your heart. You will never forget the moment you first looked into their eyes or their first steps. As they grow up every moment is magical. You’re in constant amazement about what they do, what they accomplish. The first report card. The first art project brought home. Even the first bad report home from school. Life became a magnificent adventure the moment your first born entered the world. When I look at my son every day I see me in him; his facial expressions, his laughter, even his emotions. He is an extension of me, yet so much his own person. Serious and meticulous. Perfectionist and realist. At 7 years old he has already taken on so much of the world. He’s my little soldier who will grow into a wonderful man some day.
Your first born brings you magic, but your last born (regardless of if they’re your second of fifth) will always bring you heart ache. Not the heart ache you feel when you lose a loved one. It’s the heart ache of knowing you will never have these moments again. When you first look into their eyes or watch them take their first steps, it’s the last time you will ever experience those moments again. This little person is trying to catch up with their older sibling so everything goes by faster as if it is a race for the finish line. Each day is a competition of who can be the funniest, the saddest, and get mom’s attention. As you listen to the laughter and dry the tears you want to cherish each moment, but you can’t because they are already two moments ahead of you.
Every time you reach out to hold on to the baby they once were, you’re reminded that you will never have another baby. Your sleepless nights are over, and there are no more diapers to change. No more breastfeeding. No more sweet baby cuddles. You ask yourself if you did everything you could to cherish each of those moments. Question if you will remember them forever. Your heart breaks the more you think of all their firsts that have become your lasts.
This is how I feel every March 19th as my last born turns another year older. I watch her go through the house like a tornado, and it makes me smile as a tear rolls down my face. She’s getting so big. In just 5 short years she has become her own person. So strong. So independent. So damn stubborn. As her once chubby cheeks melt away, a beautiful girl emerges and I want push her back to when she was one. She has a purse full of make up that I secretly want to throw away in the middle of the night and replace with a binky. I want to close my eyes and open them to see a sleeping baby in a crib, not a little girl, with glitter remnants on her face, sleeping on a twin sized mattress.
I can’t believe 5 years has gone by already; that I am five years further away from the baby I first held in my arms. I’ll never get those years back. I’ll never feel that same joy again. Today my heart breaks because my baby turns 5, but today I smile because I have raised that baby to be the little girl she is today. Some day she will grow up to be a beautiful woman next to her handsome brother, and all the magic and heartache will make sense.