A Week of Firsts and Thoughts on “Lasts”

It’s been a week of firsts.

First, we took the front rail off of Phoebe’s crib, so it has now been officially converted to a toddler bed. She spent her first week in this new arrangement and did very well. The only difference is that she comes downstairs in the morning instead of yelling, “Dad / Mom, come get me! I’m done with my bed!!”

William also had a first on Sunday when we were at the pool. This was Super Bowl Sunday and we headed over around 11am and found a completely deserted pool on a day that was 70 and sunny.

Anyway, Will needed to use the bathroom, so he steps out of the pool and heads that direction. Instinctively, I head that direction too, and he stops, turns to me and says, “It’s okay Daddy, I can go by myself.”

He’s been going to the restroom by himself for a long time (at home), but this is the first time we can remember him going in public – especially at the pool.

Thinking about all the “firsts” that we’ve been through also makes me think of a book that Will has that describes all the “lasts” a child has growing up. It’s called, “Let Me Hold You a Little Longer,” and it’s written from the perspective of an empty-nest mother who is recalling how she wishes she would have noticed all the last times her son did certain things – the last time she rocked him to sleep, the last diaper she changed, etc. It’s a great story and incredibly sad in some ways as she chronicles all the things he does thru the years.

I keep thinking about some of the things that Will does that he may be getting a little old for. For example, we’ve done “Rock a Bye Baby” almost every night for the past 4+ years. It goes like this: I stand next to his bed as the very last thing we do before he goes to sleep. I’ll hold him and he puts his head on my shoulder, while I sing Rock a Bye Baby and sway back and forth. When he was a baby, I’d stand there for 15-20 minutes — until I could feel him relax and start to fall asleep. As he got older, the time would be shorter, but I’d still feel him kind of let go of the day just a minute or two into it.

These days, he doesn’t always request it – but we still do most nights. I keep wondering when will be the last time that I do Rock a Bye Baby for him. It makes me really pay attention now to each and every time, since you never really know when it will be the last.


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