I can’t remember where I was when I changed my last diaper, but I remember exactly what I was doing. I was changing a diaper. It was a diaper like all the others before it, unremarkable but for the fact that it was the last. This fact was completely lost on me, because, you see, you never know which diaper will be your last. This is why you must fully savor each diaper that you change, because there is always the possibility that there may not come another after it.
Diapers have been such a big part of my life that it is hard to say how I feel, now that they are done. Elated. Thrilled. Over-the-moon. Sure, there are a few words that I could kick around, but can any word truly explain a feeling? Surely no mere combination of letters can capture the emotion that comes with knowing that you will no longer be changing any more diapers until, at the very earliest, you have grandchildren.
Last week I was changing diapers regularly. It was just an accepted part of my life that I didn’t think a lot about, except for the extreme longing for it to end that consumed my every waking moment. So when Edward just decided to start using the potty by himself last Friday, it was a complete surprise that seemed too good to be true. When he spent all day on Saturday using the potty, even pulling his own pants up and down, I thought that it must have been a fluke. I have been fooled before by his seeming readiness for potty training. But when he actually wore his big boy underwear out and about all week, even using the potty at the store when he had to go, I knew that something had changed. And something had not changed. And that thing that had not changed was his diaper, because he was not wearing one.
Of course we still put him in his pull-up over night, just to be safe, but he has even been waking up in the night to go potty, leaving the pull-up unsoiled. And then this morning, he slept through the whole night (a miracle in and of itself) and woke up with a dry pull-up. He went right to the potty and I realized that it had happened. I was calling it. He’s done. Potty trained. And sometime last week I had changed my last diaper without ever realizing it.
So an era of my life is ending. But do not feel pity for me. I am sure that I will be able to navigate this transition well enough. We will have accidents and setbacks I am sure, but those accidents will be pants-related, and not diaper related. And perhaps someday I will look back with a nostalgic longing for those days that my children were still in diapers. But that day is not today, my friends. I have changed my last diaper, and I look forward to this bright new world with dignity and hope.
And if I ever mention the thought of having a third child to you, just punch me in my stupid face.