We recently crossed a significant milestone.  The three highchairs that have been cluttering our kitchen for two years have officially been kicked to the curb; two of them, in fact were literally put on the curb because they were beyond redemption with the stench and stains of caked on mac and cheese and mushed grapes and who knows what else.  The third chair is now tucked away in our basement, patiently awaiting visits from the offspring of my sister and cousins, all of whom now have tykes tinier than mine.

Saying so long to these kitchen mainstays leaves me with mixed emotions.  On the one hand, I appreciate our newly streamlined and less cluttered living area. I'm impressed that Kevin, Declan and Cormac will sit in chairs and more often than not, stay there through the course of a meal. On the other hand, I'm having some emotional angst.  Saying so long to high chairs is part of saying good bye, once more, to our baby days.

I've survived other small rites of passage with less emotional fallout.  I was thrilled when they traded the bottle for the sippy cup. While I lamented the loss of the snuggle time that accompanies breast or bottle feeding, I was glad to no longer face the dilemma of how to snuggle and juggle three babies at once. I was fine when we traded up from those bucket car seats to the "big boy" car seats -- especially since making three trips in and out of the car with the combined weight of tots plus seats was no easy task.  I will admit I was bummed out the day the wheels literally fell off their triplet stroller but, it really was getting tough for me to push almost a hundred pounds of kid and stroller up the steep hills where we live so, we put that stroller on the curb and never looked back.

No more bottles, no more baby seats, no more strollers and now, no more high chairs. All reminders that there are no more babies for me; that part of my life is now over. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't looking to add another "cub" to our already full "Lyons Den" however, I'm struck by the finality of crossing these seemingly minor milestones. 

In the midst of our busy days and sleepless nights, I've crossed a threshold; my reproductive years are now officially behind me.  Rather than bemoan this rite of passage, I suppose I should just be grateful for how remarkably "productive" those years really were and how blessed we are to have all these healthy, happy kids.  Kids that now drink from cups, climb into the car themselves, trot down the street and up the hill and sit at the dining room table.  Now, if I only had a table with seven chairs, I'd be all set!