We celebrated every milestone for the first three kids.
Yay, they’re talking.
Yay, they’re holding their bottle.
Yay, they’re crawling.
Lots of cheering. Lots of celebration.
With the fourth child, and surgically last, everything has turned to an odd sadness for my wife.
Awe, she’s talking.
Awwe, she’s holding her bottle.
Awwwe, she’s crawling(ish).
Every milestone has become a sentimental swamp of sadness, but why?
Final chapters, when well written, tend to bring a sense of finality. I often feel sad when I finish a book or complete a long running binge show. But why?
I suppose it’s the same reason death brings sadness. The loss of relationship. The sudden halt of a routine. The end of something familiar.
The end, however, makes space for new beginnings. This doesn’t mean grief is irrelevant, it is extremely relevant, but we don’t grieve as those who have hope. The new always comes with growing pains and adjustments, but it opens the door for new seasons of vitality. New opportunities for things still unexplored. New roles as life vacuums are filled.
When a chapter of your life is closing you can press on or lament days gone by. Sometimes life hits so hard it’s like a book is ending. Even then, take heart, another story is being born.