Neither of us knew it would be the last time. Like so many transitions we’ve made, I spent months contemplating and planning it and then carried through with it on a whim.

You’ll sit on a booster cushion across the table now. I’ll never see you in that familiar position again. For two-and-a-half years you graced us with your smiling presence in that high chair, facing out at us like the groom at a wedding. I loved to watch you snack there, looking at your food or out the window, and impressing us with your ever-increasing fine motor skills.

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You learned your first signs while sitting in your high chair and said many of your first words there, too. When you were too young and impatient to sit still for storytime, I read to you in there. It provided a safe place for coloring and for play dough.

Your little sister will sit in your high chair now.

She seems to like it already, and it’s cute to see her there. It gives me déjà vu how similar she looks to how you did at that age, sitting in the same spot.

I stressed over transitioning you from your high chair in part because I felt such peace of mind when you were in it. You were safe: you couldn’t fall down in there. You also couldn’t escape from it and run around with messy hands, touching everything in reach. But I know you won’t do that now, anyway. I’ll teach you not to, and you’re a good listener, so you won’t (at least not very often).

I also didn’t want you to leave your high chair because it would be one more sign you were no longer my baby. I no longer need to change your diapers or put you in a crib, and now you don’t need my help getting in and out of a high chair, either. You’re potty trained, you sleep in a toddler bed, and now you sit at the table like a big boy.

I’m so proud of you, son, and I thank you for making these transitions as easy as they can be.

They seem to be so much harder on me than they are on you. You always seemed thrilled to take on these new challenges and see these signs of growth.

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I will miss seeing you sit in that high chair. When you occupied it, it was the centerpiece around which the party revolved. It was the backdrop for lots of pictures and even more memories.

Now it’s time for a new background, a new era. I know you’ll do well at the big table. There will be new pictures and lots of new memories made in your new big kid chair.

Julia Vorobiev

Julia is a mother of two little ones, a wife, and a teacher. She lives in Pittsburgh.