Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Lasts

When I was pregnant with Carson, a friend gave me a book titled Let Me Hold You Longer. I read it that night, then put it away in the closet. Fast forward almost 5 years. I was pregnant with Jonathan and cleaning out the closet in the boys' room. I stumbled across the book again. That night I read it to Carson, and bawled through almost the entire book. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend you do! The book goes through the raising of a child from his mothers eyes. She reflects on how he will grow up, but will she recognize when he does something for the last time.

As I pack away baby clothes to donate or take to resale, it hits me that every first for Jonathan is our last first. Jonathan is our last child.  We won't have a child roll over for the first time again. There won't be a first food again. No first steps or first words. Every time he does something for the first time. It's a last for us.

 Right now, it is absolutely adorable when Jonathan does something new. Carson will exclaim "He just said his first word!" or "He just took his first step!", even though it may be the third or fourth time he's done something. Carson recognizes the significance of each milestone, but do we? Often I sit and watch the boys play, I wonder to myself, "when did he start doing that?" or "where did he learn that?" My heart aches when I see Jonathan do something that shows us he's growing up. When he cruises the furniture or rolls a ball to his brother. He's my last baby and time isn't going to slow down. I'm not ready for the last. Not ready for the last time he takes his bottle, the last time he wakes up in the night just wanting to be rocked, the last time he needs momma.

I am just as guilty as the next person of spending way too much time "plugged in".  Too often, as parents, we are so wrapped up in the house that needs picked up, the fundraiser that needs to be done by tomorrow, the next school project, the text that needs a reply, and so on, that we are missing what is going on right in front of us.   Are we in such a rush as parents that we are missing the little things that are actually big things?  Will we recognize his lasts?  Will we remember his firsts?

 I'm guilty of this with Carson too. So caught up in work and the house and his little brother that I catch him doing (or notice him not doing) something and think to myself...when did that happen? I remember his firsts, but will they stick with me forever? Will I recognize the lasts? The last time he comes home from school bursting with excitement about his day? The last time he wants walked to the school door? The last time he lets me kiss him good night?

Put down the electronics, silence the phone and enjoy your little ones (and big ones!).  The house and the internet can wait, babies won't keep!  I'm NOT READY for the lasts. Not one bit. Not for Carson. Not for Jonathan. Not for us as parents. Are you?

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