Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Firsts and Lasts

They're coming at us so quickly. Like balls in a batting cage, mile markers on the highway. Kindergarten, Preschool, dance class, first teeth, first words, first steps. Every first a celebration I wish we could sustain. Every last a procrastination. With lasts and firsts coming in twos I can hardly wrap my brain around how fast it is going.

It will be this way the rest of our life. Fast and furious through the baby stage and then... What? You're walking? It's already over?

Fast and furious through the teenage years and then... Holy Cow! We survived? But wait! You're leaving!? And you just crashed my car? And you want to travel Europe with a bunch of friends? And you want to go to college on the other side of the continent? Really? I don't think I can let you go!

Who knows. Maybe nothing will go as planned. But maybe it will. I'm sure it will be joyous and heavenly, troublesome and heart-rending. But in the end, it will have gone. And way too quickly.

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Eliza started Kindergarten (as you know from our "Slug Free Week"). This was a big first for us. Each morning she walks to school with the older neighborhood girls. They meet us at the corner, beaming and happy to have Eliza tag along. They wait with her until the bell rings then scurry off to their own classes. They couldn't be more competent.

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But as I watch her small frame shuffle along with the bigger kids, their early morning shadows stretching long across the street, my heart sighs heavy. Off she goes... and next year she'll be gone even longer.

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The same week Eliza started school I gave the boys their last bottle. 'Twas time.

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Five months ago it was this. And that was harder. But now it's those last few moments of the day when my boys drift into milky sleep that I will miss. I looked forward to these minutes of quiet, eyelids a flutter (for me and them) as they twirled soft fleece around their faces.

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I would put my head down next to theirs while they drank. I loved to breathe in their scent, place my nose against their cheek - just to be close. Then I would ease their limp bodies onto my shoulder and press them tight against my body. I'd sing a soft lullaby, kiss their warm cheeks and place them in bed.

Now the last can of formula is empty, leaving a few extra dollars in our pocket but no sweet transition into dream land.

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I'll miss the warm feel of a bottle in hand, the smell of downey-dried pj's and baby lotion, the sounds of contentment, and the way it felt to nestle in between them.

Firsts and Lasts. They make up our lives. But when they come and go in such a flurry, I can't help but linger over them.

What firsts or lasts have been happening for you?

11 comments:

  1. Oh we have way too many firsts and last happening around here. It was so fun to meet your darling girls yesterday.

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  2. I enjoyed this post-my oldest just started K, too, and I'm working towards putting the bottles away for good with my babies. I can't seem to keep my journal up to date with all the new things the kids are doing this fall. Your kids are such similar agesa as mine-it makes your posts just that more fun to read-I enjoy them all.

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  3. Michelle - yes - way too many. My heart is sighing heavy for you as you suit up your missionary boy. We had such a fun time with you yesterday. Thank you!

    Meagen - SO nice to hear from you! I think of you every time I see my aunt. Seems like we are definitely in the same stages. Fast and furious for you too. Sounds like you're doing wonderfully well. I'm so glad!

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  4. We have our first maturation program coming up-top that!

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  5. well...just passed kindergarten in 6 weeks...now onto 1st grade! So not many kindergarten experiences! But the 1st day today of 1st grade was the "best day ever" she said

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  6. Hi Cath-
    I read your interview on the LDS Women project and have been reading your blog. I was so touched by your expressions of faith and your experiences as a mother. Your writing is beautiful, you are so gifted and I am incredibly impressed that you make the time and have the energy the write!

    I have 2 sets of twins a little more then 2 years apart. My girls are 6 and are the result of IVF after 6 1/2 years of waiting. My boys came along naturally, biggest surprise of my life. They are almost 4.

    I loved this post. You seem to capture again and again my feelings about having lots of little ones close together. I sometimes feel like childhood stages are going by so fast I can't keep up!

    Your family is beautiful and you are amazing. Thank you for sharing your life and thoughts. You inspire me!

    Jen

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  7. Crist - I'm blubbering my lower lip. Yep - you've got us beat. I expect you to have all the pointers when our turn comes around.

    Amy - So glad you made the decision! Phew! And it sounds like it was the right one! We'd still love to have Ali come play.

    Jen - Wow! Our situation sounds remarkably similar. It's so nice to have you reading. Your boys came naturally? That really is amazing! I would love to talk with you. Would you be interested in writing a Tuesday Twinspin? I would LOVE to have you contribute. You can choose any topic. If you're at all interested, would you send me an email? Address is on the contact page. Thanks for your sweet comment. I really appreciated it.

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  8. Love the new blog. And firsts and lasts make me sniff.

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  9. Um, Amanda's first Young Womens Activity tonight! ACK! Why does the time go by soooo fast!?!

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  10. I just signed up to your blogs rss feed. Will you post more on this subject?

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