This might seem like a silly post but then again most of mine are, huh? Consider this a companion piece to one I did called “Slices of Life” where I shared the importance of taking common every day photos to preserve those memories we take for granted unlike the big moments that we preserve with tons of photos and videos.
This one is about the bittersweet feeling I had dealing with the last diaper in our family. Our baby girl was wearing night time pullup diapers perhaps far too long because of the occasional accident. I think it went on much longer than it had to because I didn’t want to face the day when all three kids would be completely diaper-free, not consciously but perhaps subconsciously. In any event, the inevitable day came and she was so proud and so were we. When it turned into several nights in a row and then weeks it was official. No more diapers in the Carta household. The big pack of Huggies night time diapers for girls still sits there with unused items forever more.
This whole thing reminds me of how it felt when we had to deal with the last baby bottle and the last sippy cup. They were joyful milestones but tinged with a hint of bittersweetness for some reason for me. I knew instantly that I would forever miss it. I know all about how it’s all part of the process and signs of progress in raising kids as they grow up but it still stings. No matter how much we try to make things last, they still move forward and fade away.
Am I saying that I miss changing smelly diapers and 3 AM bottle feedings when I have to wake up at 6 AM for work? Heck yes I do! But there is nothing to be done about it now. The baby factory has been shut down and this is it for us. We have been blessed with three beautiful babies so I do not want to be a greedy mug. I’m just sharing how I feel about these joyous milestones. I guess it’s the same with most of the experiences with our children as they move towards leaving the nest. The best we can do is appreciate the moments–the good ones and the seemingly bad ones–because someday we will miss it all.
Katrina Kennison calls it “The Gift of an Ordinary Day” in her magnificent memoir that celebrates the hum drum routines of parenting such as bottle feedings and diaper changes. Here’s one of my favorite videos ever with Katrina sharing some of her book.
I think this recent piece by Julianna W. MinerÂ from the HuffingtonPost sums it up best. She nails it for all parents when it comes to appreciating the sweet spot, the moment when the babies reach a point when they are not as dependent on us as before. It’s beautifully written and so poignant as it captures the feeling of realizing that you’re smack dab in the middle of your dream so you better enjoy it while it lasts.