My youngest son turns two this week. And let’s just say it’s a day I’ve been looking forward to and dreading all at the same time.
It’s a big milestone, that’s for sure. I will no longer tell people his age in months; now it’s just a number. I can’t tell everyone I have a baby at home, because he’s not one anymore.
He’s growing up. And so is our family.
But in many ways, it’s a milestone for me, too. For the first time in six years, I am celebrating one of my children’s second birthdays without having another baby at home, or anticipating another one on the way. I’m not pregnant, nor do I have any plans on getting pregnant — those days are now long gone.
Of course, I didn’t think that every time one of my children turned two, I’d be trying to have another. I knew the cycle would end eventually, but I guess I just wasn’t expecting it to approach this quickly. And I certainly didn’t think it would have such an effect on me.
I’ve always known that my son was most likely going to be our last child. And I’ve cherished all of the “lasts” that we’ve been through. But beginning a new chapter always means the closing of another — in this case, one I’ll never get back — and that, I suppose, is what’s getting at me.
I’ve celebrated so many happy milestones in motherhood: The first time I successfully breastfed; the first time I took all three kids out of the house on my own (and lived to tell the tale); the first time all three of us flew on an airplane …
And now, I celebrate the first time that my motherhood journey no longer includes a baby in it.
As with every new stage of motherhood, it’s an adjustment. And I’ve learned that I cannot focus on the past and what used to be — because the future is so bright. While I might no longer be up all night, cradling a sweet newborn during endless nursing sessions, I will have a toddler that climbs into my bed, telling me that he loves me and wants to cuddle.
And those are the moments that I have to look forward to for many many more years.
Motherhood is full of so many milestones — so many shifts, and changes, and curveballs. Some, we spend years preparing for. Others sneak up on us, and we celebrate them before we’ve even fully comprehended what they truly mean.
My son’s second birthday is a joyous occasion. One that celebrates the laughter, love, and fulfillment that he’s brought into our lives. And while I celebrate this milestone of my own, I’m reminded that it’s this love and fulfillment that I need to keep me going.
No matter what the future has in store for us.More On