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In the midst of all of the winding down from the holidays, I got into a bit of a purging frenzy. When this happens, Ted knows to get out of the way and not ask any questions! As always, I am starting 2012 with the very best of intentions regarding an organized, de-cluttered and serene home. (Also, as always, my inner cynic suspects that I will slide into 2013 as a disorganized mess, but isn’t the New Year about hopes and dreams!?)

Today, I took a load of no-longer-needed baby items to my local branch of Goodwill. While it’s always thrilling to take bags of stuff out of my house – a tiny victory in the endless Battle of the Clutter – I was also left breathless by the bittersweet nature of this task. Given my haphazard driving ability and poor packing skills, it is not surprising that one of the donation bags spilled all over the “way back” in the short journey between home and the drop-off site. What did surprise me was the prickle of tears that hovered as I repacked the stack of tiny snapsuits, unopened packages of burp cloths, my beloved black-and-white diaper bag, and the baby wipe warmer that was theoretically very clever, but which went virtually unused by this lazy mama.

There is simply something special about your last baby. We are the lucky parents of two precious, precious little boys who were born a handful of years apart. We were so contented to have William, but our dreams for our family always included a second child. For that reason, in the years after William was born, there was always the hope of another little one coming up the ranks to dazzle us with his/her accomplishments, hilarious malapropisms, and general tomfoolery. With Ryan, our caboose, every single stage from infancy onwards has been met with equal parts joy and maudlin sentiment. Conversely, every cliché is true about not filling in the youngest child’s baby book. (I will have to rely on my Facebook statuses someday if poor Ryan asks how old he was when he took his first steps.)

A good friend reminded me recently to take joy in every stage and celebrate every accomplishment because there are some children who never take a step, or draw a picture, or learn to hold a spoon. Whoa. Getting deep there. I hope you appreciate my point and understand the spirit in which it was offered. We mothers need to celebrate our children’s accomplishments, whatever they may be, and take joy in the passage of time, not sorrow.

I’m curious to know if your children’s milestones ever give you the blues. If so, how do you cope?

More in a few days,



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