I thought my second baby would be my last, and so I made a conscious effort to remember all the "lasts." Usually, they were "last-firsts" because, really, who can really remember "last-lasts?" You know... last-lasts... like the the last time you were able to pick them up before they got too heavy to carry? The last time you tied their shoes, before they were able to do it themselves? The last time you saw them sucking their thumb?
Last-firsts are easier to remember. The first haircut, the first tooth, the first step. But then, I got divorced and remarried, and since he wanted kids and I wasn't averse to that, we had another. And another. And have talked about a third on and off now for five years. And I never knew if this was going to be my "last." My ex was adamant about no more. Two was more than plenty for him. But Michael would love to have babies until we ran out of space or time...
We've pretty much run out of the former, and are slowly running out of the latter... and I'm starting to realize, "We're really not gonna have anymore." (I think. :) But I never made a real, conscious effort to remember the "lasts" this time, like I did after Blake was born, because there was always the possible promise of another little.
Of course, I have pictures of most of the last-firsts. It's funny, I'm always the one behind a camera, rather than in front of it. For two main reasons, I suppose. One, I hate my own picture taken, and two, if I let Michael have the camera, he'd cut off everyone's head. But seeing all the lasts from behind a lens makes it feel a little unreal, a bit removed. I think the Amish are onto something when they shy away from cameras. I don't necessarily think they steal your soul, but they do steal part of your memory. Perhaps we rely a little too much on the image to remind us, rather than our own experience.
So I'm up at four in the morning, because Dmitri peed the bed. We're planning on trying to night-train him for good come Christmas vacation - going Commando, no pull-up. He doesn't do it too often anymore anyway and I wondered: "Is this the last time I'm going to be up in the middle of the night because someone peed the bed?" Not exactly a romantic "last" - but still, a "last" nonetheless.
I look at him and I see how TALL he's gotten, all the baby fat gone from him now, all the little lisps and cute turns of phrase disappearing day by day, as he takes huge leaps and bounds towards growing up. Autumn's seventeen and Blake is fourteen, and I can remember almost all of their firsts. I know (God-willing) some day I'll look back from a much, much further distance than I am now with Dmitrios. Time just keeps marching on.
I'm sure I'll even wax nostalgic about the last time he peed the bed. We parents can do that about almost anything. And by then, I'll probably be worrying about peeing the bed myself. From Pull-Ups to Depends? Ah the circle of life...