I love parties. I can’t help myself. From birthdays to anniversaries to festivals, I’m that girl who goes all out. I don’t care if the holiday is real or made-up (National Donut Day; National Lefty Day; National Click Your Heels Three Times Day), to me it’s all an excuse to celebrate.
Part of motherhood is marking our kids’ firsts: baby’s first Christmas; first hair cut; first visit to the dentist; first day of school. My teenage daughter prides herself in being her newborn cousin’s first video chat. Firsts are important, and most of them are fun.
Kids have lots of firsts, but have you thought about also celebrating some of their lasts? Life goes fast, and before you know it you’ve swaddled your baby for the last time, kissed your baby’s feet for the last time, had your last 3 a.m. feeding. Not every last warrants a party, but every last (and first) is part of your family’s story.
Our family has had a lot of fun celebrating our lasts. Below are some of our favorite “last time” parties:
1. The Last Time We Bought Diapers
I’m thankful to live in a country where disposable diapers are plentiful, but I did not shed one tear when I purchased my last box. We celebrated our last day in diapers by shopping for fun, big-girl panties, singing the Hallelujah Chorus, and once we pocketed some of the diaper-free savings in our budget, Tim and I went out on a date.
2. The Last Time We Used Sippy Cups
We celebrated our last day of sippy cups with our youngest cleaning out the sippy cup side cabinet while standing on the counter and tossing the cups in the garbage bin. Our family cheered and danced as each cup was trashed.
3. The Last Time I Nursed
I celebrated my last day of nursing by treating myself to new bras. I went to Nordstrom’s and let the boob-fairy-godmothers measure me, bought bras that made me feel pretty, and threw away all my ugly nursing bras. Thinking back, I should have followed my daughter’s lead and tossed them in the garbage bin while standing on the countertops.
4. The Last Day of Being Nine
The last day of being a single digit is almost as big of a deal in our family as turning ten. We’ve celebrated the last day of single digits differently with each of our girls, but this party is always about marking the day as a family. With one of my girls we ate her favorite meal while wearing stick-on mustaches. With another we celebrated by shooting tin cans with a BB gun in the backyard. No need to search Pinterest for ideas for this day. The point is to acknowledge the end of one season before beginning another.
5. The Last Day of Being Twelve
The last day of being twelve (or a child) involves a little more sentiment. For each child, I write them a letter telling them their story. I talk about the day they were born, what kind of baby they were, their favorite toy when they were 3, the name of their best friend when they were 4 . . . . I write something about every year, and end the letter with a blessing for their teenage years. I plan on writing them another letter that chronicles the rest of their story to give them on their last day of high school. I write the letters because I believe knowing who you were and are impacts the person you become.
Life has a lot of firsts and lasts, but most of our living is spent between the two. There is a natural pull to celebrate the firsts, but as seasons change and new beginnings become your norm, take time to honor a few lasts along the way.
Tasha Levert, Ph.D., is a licensed professional counselor in New Orleans who provides face-to-face and online care. She is a conference speaker, worship leader and the author of Stories of Hope for the Sleep Deprived. Tasha and her husband Tim (Pastor with Students at the Vineyard Church of New Orleans) have three beautiful daughters and a lazy schnauzer named Gumbo.
To find out more about Tasha or her practice go to
tashalevert.com or broomtreecounseling.com.