Grace took her first steps today.
As with each child, there is the thrill of watching her stand on her own... eyes shining with delight as she realizes that she's standing by herself... and then the utter joy on her face as she takes a few steps. This is a huge moment in her life, and her Daddy and I cheered her on with all the appropriate fanfare.
And yet I'm sad.
Sad because... well, at 41, there's no guarantee that I will ever have any more children. What I have taken for granted for the past ten years -- namely that, anywhere from 6 months to 15 months after the last baby, I WILL be pregnant again -- is no longer a "guarantee." (was it ever?)
Don't get me wrong -- there is something to rejoice about in every stage of a child's life, and I wouldn't want to wave my magic wand and turn my older kids back into little ones again. We've come too far, and learned too much, to want to go back.
And yet... they are growing up, and getting one step closer to leaving and starting new lives of their own.
I know I still have plenty of years left to their childhoods, but it's that bittersweet knowledge that with each step they take forward, it's one more step away from my arms.
So it was with tears in my eyes that I cheered her on today, clapping enthusiastically as I watched her take her first small steps away from me and into the rest of her life.
[now if God is chuckling right now, thinking, "wait until she sees the TRIPLETS I've got in store for her!", y'all may refer back to this post and leave me a note: "See Ouiz! You were worried for nothing!"]