The holiday season is a joyous time of year for me, as it is for most people. After my oldest son was born this season turned into something truly special. Spending time with our family as they ooh’d and ahh’d over how much he had grown or learned since the last time they’d seen him warmed my heart.
As he grew older and began to understand that Christmas means new toys, watching his joy as he opened each gift became my happiness. This year will be even more memorable as our youngest son experiences this holiday for the first time. Since we are undoubtedly done having children this will be our family’s last first Christmas.
Knowing what we know about children and firsts, my husband and I had an engaging conversation of ‘does it matter?’ My husband is adamant that a child is never going to remember their first Christmas or birthday so there is no need to go all out and make it over the top special. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I stand firmly in my belief that a first is a big deal, pictures last a lifetime and I am not going to not do something for Cub (our second son) that I did for Little Bear (our first son).
Truth be told, we are both right. Little Bear and Cub are never going to remember their first holidays or birthday. In the moment, they will not understand the warmth, love and incredible family that gather just to celebrate their milestones. It will be memorable to those family members who witness these events. So that leads us to…
…it’s all about my wants. As their mother, these milestones are important to me. I want my sons to feel celebrated, honored and loved…even if they have no idea why. Without reservation, we are done having children and the realization is bittersweet. Our Cub will be the last child that we experience the excitement of the first tooth, the joy of first steps, the love-filled first birthday and the family-filled first holiday season.
The firsts with Little Bear were exciting but, his first full year of life feels like a blur of getting used to a baby, exhaustion, overcoming one challenge after another and exhaustion. Yes, I am aware that I listed exhaustion twice. Even though Cub’s first year is moving forward at a rapid pace, I feel like I am better prepared to recognize a ‘moment’ when we are in it and have the opportunity to relish inside of it. Although we will have many more first firsts and many more last firsts, I am acutely aware of these moments with Cub and I am desperately trying to engrain them into my memory.
Going back to the engaging conversation with my husband my answer is: YES, it does matter! It matters because I know I am going to miss these moments as my children get older. If I go over-the-top to make it special so be it!
Yolanda Jenkins is a wife, mother of 2, and an introverted leader. She can sometimes be found sharing the good, the bad and the ugly on IG @thislibralife.