I wouldn’t have missed my first son’s first birthday for the world. He was my first born. My son. A piece of me that I somehow didn’t destroy in his first year of life. That first birthday was a huge accomplishment for all.
This week it is my second son’s first birthday and I’m going to be in Las Vegas. It is for work, not pleasure, but it’s still not sitting well with my wife.
I’m the eldest in my family, my wife was the third. Her parents didn’t attend her high school graduation ceremony remarking “we’ve already seen two.” Now you can dismiss that as uncaring and horrifying, but it does sum up a sentiment that creeps into family life the second and third time around.
I went through the photo and video archives of my boys. I made 70 short videos the first year of Zacharie’s life. Charlie has nine. The first roll over, the first giggle, the first solid food, the big diaper bomb, they’re all magical moments – the first time. The second time it rolls around it loses a bit of the lustre.
As rookie parents we’re terrified of every little thing. We don’t want to break the baby, we’ve never done this and we’re super adrenalized to be vigilant. By the time the second son comes in and face plants into a coffee table, we know they bounce back and eventually giggle so we don’t give it a second thought. We’ve seen this movie before and are aware how it ends.
My wife vowed that her parent’s attitude wouldn’t infiltrate our circle. She demands that photos be taken, videos be shot and the accomplishments of Charlie’s life be celebrated just as emotionally as though it was happening for the first time.
But it’s not the first time.