BEGINNING: just starting out
END: the ultimate state; an outcome worked toward
As a parent, I expected to get worked up about firsts. And, I did.
This week I find myself getting worked up about seconds.
Son lost his second tooth.
Daughter got her second haircut.
I didn’t expect those events to feel significant. But, they do.
When Son lost his first tooth, we researched proper fairy protocol and the going rate for teeth. We marveled over the gap and took countless photos of THE missing tooth. Now our boy has lost teeth – plural. His mouth is 10% permanent.
When Daughter got her first haircut, we received a certificate and a lock of hair. This time, her hair fell to the ground and was swept into the garbage bin. No ceremony. No certificate. She’s not a baby parting with original hair anymore; she’s a girl with disposable locks like the rest of us.
Firsts are sweet because they are celebrated milestones but don’t change the status of your kid. First steps do not make a toddler. They are simply baby steps. As in, a baby taking steps. You still have a baby.
Seconds feel different.
It’s like the difference between turning 40 and 41. When you turn 40, you claim that specific age. It’s a whole year where people are forced to recognize that you are in transition – just barely out of your 30s and dipping your toe in the next decade. But, when you turn 41 you have to own the fact that you are “in your forties” and by 42 you are officially “forty something.”
That’s the way I’m feeling about my kids’ seconds.
My babies are gone.
We are no longer dipping our toes in the next phase.
It has arrived.