The Bittersweet Milestones of Children :: Celebrating Firsts While Mourning Lasts

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Multiple children in various life stages of development creates a myriad of feelings inside of a mother. This is where I currently find myself regarding my kids. From a rising first grader to a newly turned one year old, my emotions are on a constant roller coaster.

The Last Baby

By the time this article is posted, my youngest child will have reached the milestone of her first birthday. While I am celebrating the completion of her first year of life, I am also mourning the fact that she is my last baby. I’ll never grow another baby inside of my body, have middle-of-the-night snuggle sessions with a sweet smelling newborn, see a first smile, hear a first laugh, or witness a first step.

However, I still have many milestones to celebrate with this last little one. She’s yet to say her first sentence, have her first day of school, lose a tooth, etc. As I mourn the fact that I’ll never witness those first milestones of a baby again, I look forward to celebrating all of the toddler milestones we will soon begin to accomplish.

The Middle Child

My youngest son is another of my children for whom I’m celebrating both first and last moments. He has finished his last day of part-time school and will soon be attending a Pre-K program at our local elementary school. His first day of “big boy” school is fast approaching and I’m not quite sure I’m ready for it yet. He completed his first reading program this summer and is currently on his first vacation without Mommy and Daddy. He’ll soon have his first eye exam and experience his last weekday at home with me. All of these seemingly minute events are starting to make my eyes water. My little boy is growing up before my eyes and I’m trying desperately to celebrate all of the little milestones and moments we’re having this summer.

The Oldest Sibling

My oldest son is experiencing new things this summer alongside his brother and sister. My oldest is a trailblazer in more ways than one. He’s a leader at heart and is always looking for new ways to do things. He is the one who is looking forward to beginning his first day of First Grade. He also recently completed his first summer reading program and is experiencing his first parent-free vacation. (This summer has given me the experience of seeing my first child be baptized, too!) Thankfully, we still have many more milestones to celebrate for him while I also look back on his lasts. 

Last Thoughts

As summer begins to wind down and I look ahead to a new school year beginning, I’m trying to remember to take each day as it comes. I want to celebrate all of the little moments alongside the big and help my children reach milestones each in their own time and way. I want to be their biggest cheerleader while also being there to correct their missteps. There will always be last moments and events to mourn, but there will also always be first moments to anticipate. My sons and daughter will forever know that I am someone they can count on to celebrate their accomplishments, no matter how big or small. 

Having children is always going to be bittersweet as they move from one stage to the next. Parents, grandparents, family, and friends, we need to all remember to celebrate each milestone reached and goal accomplished while also looking forward to the next. Each of my children causes me to celebrate and mourn in different ways and at different times. So, as I mourn the last few days of the baby stage, I am also looking forward to my sons both being in new “big school” classes. As I mourn my oldest growing up a little more each day, I will also rejoice in every new word and task my youngest learns. My three kids bring me both joy and challenges with each new day and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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Born and raised in Montgomery, Leigh has resided in Birmingham since 2010. She married Jay, a CPA, in 2011. Leigh attended Liberty University for a business degree and worked as an Executive Assistant until her first child was born. Her family currently lives in the Oak Mountain area and she is a SAHM to her three children, Adam (6), Wyatt (4) and Eliana (6.5 months). Along with being a wife and mom, Leigh enjoys trying new recipes, reading, spending time with family and friends, and exploring the city to discover new activities and food.

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