I held you tonight—well, I tried. You’re 25 pounds of smushy love. My arms can’t cradle your body like they could just a few months ago. No longer my tiny baby, but a growing toddler who looks just like his daddy.

You’re growing so fast.

No one had to tell me how quickly this year would fly, I already knew. That’s the gift and the pain of being the last. I treasure it all just a little bit more, because I know the heartache that lies ahead when the final firsts are over.

Please don’t take my sadness as grief. No. It’s beauty. It’s love. It’s how God intended all of this to be. But my sweet little man, I can’t help but feel a small twinge of hurt as I watch you go through all of those first moments. Because for me, they mark a season of my life that will never be again.

Never again will I feel the kicks of a tiny baby growing inside of me. I’ll never again feel the pain of childbirth, or experience the sweet, joyful first cry.

I’ll never again see your first smile, or hear that first laugh or watch that first step.

Those moments that seem to last forever when we’re in the trenches, are gone just as quickly as I expected.

We’re starting a new chapter, you and me. You’re a growing toddler. I’m an aging mother. A girl mom and a boy mom, this will be such a grand adventure.

God willing, my son, we have many wonderful firsts ahead of us.

School days and sports. The first dance, the first date.

I can’t wait to watch you experience the goodness of this world. Your beautiful eyes will see many lovely creatures and your sweet hands will touch loved ones. So much is waiting for you, my love.

I need you to know something. I prayed for you. I prayed for your sisters, too, but with you, it was different. It was a longing like I’ve never known. I knew my heart wasn’t whole. I asked God to show me why. I needed to understand what I was missing.

It was you, Son. You were missing. I wasn’t content until my soul met you. When I looked into your precious eyes nearly one year ago, I just knew.

You made our family of five complete.

This week, we’ll celebrate your first birthday. We’ll sing songs and blow kisses. I’ll squeeze your chubby frame while you’ll still let me. And I’ll savor this final first.

Because even though the years seem so far away, I know how quickly they will fly. I know someday too soon, you’ll be waving your first goodbye as you leave your mama on a new adventure.

So, if I hold on too tightly, if you catch me staring into those baby blues, please try to understand. I’m not sad, I’m just amazed at the gift God has given me. This is my way of trying to soak in all these final firsts so I’ll never forget.

Happy first birthday to my last-born son. I will love you forever.

if I hold on too tightly, if you catch me staring into those baby blues, please try to understand. I’m not sad, I’m just amazed at the gift God has given me. This is my way of trying to soak in all these final firsts so I’ll never forget

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Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From Home.com. She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.

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