Monday, February 23, 2015

Last Firsts

I was struck this weekend at how quickly Ames is growing up. Despite the fact that Tate still calls him "our baby", it is becoming clearer every day that the sweet baby days are quickly becoming the raucous and silly days of toddler-hood, and soon after that, a rough-and-tumble little boy will emerge.

I am finding all of Ames' "firsts" particularly bittersweet because, for Zach and I, they are our last firsts. We know that Ames will be our last child, a decision that I feel at peace with, but that felt quite fraught at the time we made it. There were many factors we considered, but I think what was most difficult for me at the time was the fact that resources (or lack thereof) seemed to be the most compelling. We kept asking ourselves- could we afford another child? Did we have enough space for another child? Did we have sufficient energy for another child? And while all these things were so practical, it felt wrong somehow to make a decision of the heart so much with our heads.

I finally had an "aha" moment when Zach and I started discussing all the things that Ames had brought to us, what he had brought to our family, with his arrival. He made Tate a brother. Can you imagine that? Making someone a brother? He fulfilled the dreams that Zach and I had of looking over two little heads in front of the Christmas tree. Whereas Tate brought the tender, Ames brought the silly. Two boys are exponentially louder than one, and our house is now filled all the way to the rafters with pounding feet and Ames' guffaws and all the craziness that our two "Holm-bros" bring. When I started to imagine what was missing- what we didn't have yet that a third child would bring- I came up empty. 

Now, please know I'm not saying third (or fourth! of fifth!) children don't bring anything to their families, or that, if we had a third child, that child wouldn't enrich us in ways I can't even imagine. But. When I took a step back, and I took money and time and the number of bedrooms in our house out of the equation, I realized that we were done. Complete. The Holmboe's. Just the four of us. And that was ok. In fact, that was great.

So. That bring us back to last firsts. Because every one of Ames' firsts is the last time that Zach and I will ever experience that first with one of our children. 

Case in point: Ames had his first haircut recently. And have I mentioned how much I love Ames' hair? It curls adorably around his little ears, fulfilling my lifelong dream of curly hair. He was born with the smoothest cap of dark hair, which shines red in the sun. So cutting it... oh my. I was so emotional throughout the entire cut.
Oh. Sweet Ames, he looks so grown up here, doesn't he? So self-assured, so calm. And at the end, with a few curls tucked in my purse, I said a little more of a good-bye to the baby he was, and I got to say hello to a little bigger glimpse of the boy to come.

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