Talking it over: The last firsts
Over the weekend, my husband and I traveled to Zimmerman, Minn. to help our youngest granddaughter celebrate her first birthday. This was the sixth first birthday we witnessed for our grandchildren and is most likely the last.
Both of our children have told us that they are comfortable with the size of their families and do not intend to change that. Therefore, little Olivia, who turned one on Saturday, will be our baby forever and we will need to really enjoy each and every one of her first things as they will be the last we get to witness.
However, Olivia has been somewhat of a challenge when we want to treat her like our baby. She was an early crawler, walked at 11 months and is hard to slow down when she wants to accomplish things. She is already getting some words out and has no trouble letting us know what she wants. In other words, she is determined to grow up faster than we want her to.
Her first birthday party was a fun and messy event. First of all, Olivia enjoyed the spaghetti and meatball feast, requiring a full bath when she was done. After the bath, she dug into her birthday cake first with a bit of caution, and then with full gusto as she realized she could destroy the food with her hands. She wore her pretty party dress for a brief time while opening her presents with the help of her three siblings and two cousins. However, she seemed to like watching them tear at the paper rather than doing so herself.
The kids were more thrilled with her gifts than she was but that didn’t seem to matter too much. I think she would have been happy with just a box or bag to play with. It was so fun to see the innocence and excitement on her little face.
From now on, we will be busy watching each one of our grandchildren grow and learn new things. They will face many challenges and accomplish many things, however, there will never again be some of those firsts, like steps, words, and birthdays. Instead there will be other firsts. Their first dance, first date, first job, first love, and eventually, first home and families of their own. It will be fun to watch Olivia and all of our grandchildren grow but I will miss those first things that only a small child can enjoy so thoroughly.