It’s April 30th. After today, my daughter will have lived a full month for every month of the year. Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November…yes, she’s finished all of those. She will have lived through every holiday (except Leap Year, if you count that as a holiday). She is one year old.

We count our lives in years as we get older, but we still mark her time in months; you need only look at the tags on young children’s clothing to see that. 0 – 3 months. 3 – 6 months. 6 – 9 months. 9 – 12 months. 12 – 18 months. 18 – 24 months. Growing out of a size means that she’s growing as she should. (If only adult sizes worked that way!)

And she’s growing out of these firsts: first months, first foods, first steps, first hugs, first crawling, first tooth, first wave, first tie-dye – you know, all of the important things. There will be more, of course. First real walking, first sentence, first day of school (gasp!).

All of these firsts are fleeting, though: they pass and fall behind, with new things to come. When I get overly sentimental about all of it, I try to remember that the real first thing won’t pass. It won’t be left by the wayside like an outgrown teething ring or checked off on last year’s calendar. The real first is the love that I feel for her, and as much love as I have, I know that will never become a thing of the past.

All of those other firsts and the sentimentality I was feeling for those? I guess I should leave that up to the folks at Hallmark.