Gifts for Dad ➔

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.

RELATED: The Secret No One Told Me About the Toddler Years is How Much I Could Absolutely Love Them

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.

RELATED: Moms Don’t Just Say Goodbyes, We Feel Them

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.

Mothers Grieve a Million Little Losses as Their Babies Grow Up

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mom and little boy at sunset

Fifteen years ago, I was pregnant with my oldest son and I spent all my free moments devouring every baby book I could get my hands on. I bookmarked websites about babies and child development, confident I would now know where to turn for guidance along every step of my parenting journey. I joined online groups with other mommies to expand my social network and find potential support resources. I prepared and prepared and then prepared some more. But, all those books and websites failed to tell me something important—something that would make me cry rivers of tears sometimes and...

Keep Reading

A Big Kid Is Born

In: Child, Motherhood, Tween
Tween boy walking

The worn-out sock monkey with the Christmas hat went to bed with him every night. It was a gift from his cousin/best friend, and he had affectionately named him Galerie. Galerie was like part of the family. He went on all road trips. He was snuggly tucked in his backpack at every cousin slumber party. Galerie joined him for his first week at overnight camp. He even traveled across the world with him, safely in his carry-on bag.  Whenever there was someplace to go, there was no question Galerie would come too.  Sometimes as parents we wonder how long these...

Keep Reading

Every Time Our Babies Walk Away From Us, They Come Back a Little Bit Older

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

Every time my baby walks away from me, she comes back a little bit older. This hit me the other night. It was past bedtime, but she had come out of her room and found me in the backyard. I can’t even remember what it was she “needed.” Maybe a drink of water, maybe she had a hangnail, or maybe (probably) she just didn’t want to call it a day quite yet. Whatever the reason, after a few moments and one more hug goodnight, she was walking away from me back to the house. And it hit me. Every time...

Keep Reading
Mother Holding Baby

5 Truths Every New Mom Needs to Hear

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Encouragement for the early days

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections