The other night I took my daughter’s pink Disney Princess booster seat off the kitchen chair to clean it. As it turns out, that was the last night she used it. She says she doesn’t need it anymore, her big eyes in her tiny head poking up above the table.
That’s how it always goes, my husband says. One day something is super important and the next you’re deciding whether to donate it or sell it on Craigslist.
We’re hypersensitive to the finality of even the most trivial things because our second and last baby just turned 1. As he starts to formulate his first words, we’re stuck trying to find our own, too–ones to describe the sadness and yet slight elation around knowing there will never be another infant we made in the house.
We had talked about having a third, but we’ve decided against it. After two picture-perfect pregnancies, we had two newborns with life-threatening illness, and I’m not sure we could take the stress of that again. Each child’s problem was random and unrelated–our daughter inhaled meconium and spent her first week in the NICU, while our son developed pyloric stenosis, an intestinal blockage, that required emergency surgery when he was 4 weeks old–but equally terrifying. They’re both healthy and happy now with no residual effects from their ordeals.
We’ll leave well enough alone.
And we’ll get soppy and sentimental over silly things, like the tiny blue chair that I looked at for only maybe eight months of my life. But as I put the Boppy bouncy seat with the little infant pillow and simple hanging toys into a bag to bring to its new owner, I couldn’t help but picture its sling-like seat cradling my babies’ little tushies.
In it, Ellie played peek-a-boo by herself for the first time. In it, Jared gave his first belly laughs, finding something Daddy did during dinner one night just too much.
It’s tempting to want to hold onto it, stash it somewhere in the basement, another relic of infancy to add to the outfits my babies wore home from the hospital, my daughter’s first pair of shoes, my son’s itty bitty post-op hospital gown–all stuff they probably will glance at one day with an obligatory, “Aw, cute,” before moving right along.
And anyway, I have pictures.
And so my husband and I kvell daily at the marvels that are our kids, and we make an extra effort to enjoy everything–even the tantrums–because one day we will go to boost them up one more time and find they can do it all by themselves.