There is something special about firsts. First steps, first words, first teeth.
We are at the end of an era in our home. We are encountering a number of last firsts. Caleb is our last baby. Simply put, he is growing too quickly [for my liking].
He is finally starting to make some noise. For months he has been busy watching and listening to the circus around him. Now he screeches and giggles and makes all sorts of noises. I am making out some "mama" sounds, but I'm not ready for him to be speaking yet, so I try to convince myself it's simply babble. Surely my baby isn't old enough to talk.
He has begun to stand unassisted. I know what comes next. I have seen it three times before. Those precious, wobbly first steps. The launching of his tiny body into my open arms. And I'm not ready. When he takes his first steps, it will be the last time any of my babies takes a first step.
The strangest and perhaps saddest thing is the teeth. It's not strange that Caleb's should be appearing. It's strange to see him smiling alongside his oldest brother. Parker recently lost some teeth. Both he and Caleb are now growing in their top two front teeth. When Parker and Caleb smile together, it's like I'm staring into the future and back at the past at the same time.
It reminds me of my favorite Joni Mitchell song, The Circle Game.
And the seasons, they go round and round.
And the painted ponies go up and down.
We're captive on the carousel of time.
We can't return, we can only look behind from where we came,
And go round and round and round in the circle game.
My feelings are completely mixed as I type this evening. Tears of joy and sadness stream down my cheeks. I will choose to cherish these last firsts. I recognize that the end of the baby era means the beginning of a new era for our family. Different, but beautiful all the same.
Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to ride on this carousel with my wonderful family.