The first year of life is marked with more “firsts” than a sleep-deprived parent can record in a baby book. Before Henry was born, I didn’t realize how enthralled I’d be by every single little development. The moment his eyes first looked out a window, the time his little arms stretched upward and finally met the cheerful toys above, when he belly laughed, sat up, tasted solid food, flew on a plane, crawled off the blanket in our yard, touched the ocean, when his sounds started to resemble discernible words, when he learned to crawl up the stairs with wild abandon (scary!), how he became obsessed with pushing everything around the house like it’s his job (too funny!) and now we are waiting for those first independent steps. It is so much fun trying to keep up with it all and adjusting to the newness that each new “first” brings.

Of course, for every first, there is a last. As a poem posted to a mom group on Facebook pointed out, there will be a last time you swaddle your baby, nurse him to sleep, or carry him on your hip. I understand the sentiment: appreciate life with baby now – the sweet moments and the challenges – because it will all be over soon. After all, babies don’t keep.

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