I went to the Target yesterday to buy a new car seat. I’ve been meaning to replace the one we have, and finally got around to doing so. As I was browsing the selection of various convertible booster seats, I was reminded of the last time I was shopping the the Target for a car seat.

Exactly five years ago.

Roux had spent eight full days in the NICU, and was unable to pass the oxygen saturation test. He was barely over four pounds, and the weight requirement for the seat we had purchased during pregnancy had a five pound minimum. I was so frustrated, and sat up half the night frantically searching for a car seat that accommodated a premature infant.

I came upon a Graco seat, I can’t remember the model, but I remember that it was one of the least expensive options, but the only one that would fit our four pound baby. We were at the Target the minute it opened buying that car seat.

Roux passed the oxygen test, and a few hours later, sat in the car for the very first time snug as a bug in his brand new Graco car seat.

Today, he sat in a different, brand new Graco car seat. This will probably be the last car seat he needs.

His first and his last, like bookends.

The multitudes these five years have contained. I cannot begin to form into sentences what this time has meant, what has been gained and lost, all the many different experiences that have been wrapped up in the five times this planet has circled the sun between that day and this.

A lifetime.

His lifetime.

But also, our lifetime. The lifetime of this family.

Five years ago today was the first time all five of us were in a room together. That moment will forever be one of the most golden tiles in the mosaic of my memory.

So much has changed since then.

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