This is a blog all just for me. It has no purpose whatsoever except for me to share some of the random nonsense I happen to be thinking about in my day-to-day life. Sometimes it sure is nice not to have a purpose.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I just processed the following book at work and it brought tears to my eyes: Let Me Hold You Longer by Karen Kingsbury. Here are some snippets from the author's note at the front of the book:

We spend our children's days celebrating their firsts. First step, first tooth, first words... But somehow, along the way, we miss their lasts. There are no photographs or parties when a child takes his last nap or catches tadpoles for the last time. For the most part, it's impossible to know when a last-moment actually occurs... Would I have held on longer if I'd known it was the last time?... Sometimes with tears in my eyes, I chronicled the life of a child and all the last times we might miss along the way.

While this book is geared toward "lasts" that parents encounter with their children, it can apply to life in general and how we often do not fully appreciate moments while "in the moment." If we were to actually stop and recognize the fact that any experience may be a "last" and that we may never have the same opportunity again, perhaps we would better savor each moment that we have.

I am not perfect at always remembering this, but it is something that I have consciously done in the past. With our niece, for example, I think about how every time she spends the night at our place, it may be one of the few last times. My husband and I have so many dear memories of her spending weekends with us since she was a small child, but now that she is 16 years old and nearly a senior in high school, these occurrences are becoming more sparse and we realize that soon they will cease altogether.

I remember this also every time I take my son for visits with my grandmas. I feel so grateful that he has two great-grandmothers in his life and that both of them are so wonderful in playing with him. I will often take a step back and just admire the interaction, because I know that since they are already in their mid-80s, I cannot take their role in his life for granted. Of course, since we never know when anyone's life may end, having this appreciation should not be limited to people who are of an advanced age. We should appreciate all the time we have with everyone!

On a bright note, lasts are not always such a bad thing. There can be the last time that your toddler bites another kid or the last time that your child wets the bed or the last time that your teenager sneaks out at night. Of course, even a "last" of these types of occurrences can leave you feeling oddly nostalgic. For example, it's not that I love changing diapers (although I don't hate it), but I would feel a little sad knowing when I've changed my son's last diaper. I think the sadness is in knowing that, for better or worse, you've reached the end of an era. At that point, I think it's always important to realize that the end of an era also means the beginning of another. We should make sure to enjoy all the positive aspects of a new era rather than wasting time mourning the one that's already gone--as always, it comes down to enjoying the present moment.

I'll close this posting with some of my favorite passages from Kingsbury's book:
  • "The last time that I lifted you and held you on my hip" and "The last time you ran to me, still small enough to hold" - This still hasn't happened with my son, thank goodness!
  • "The last time you woke up crying" - Sometimes our son will wake up without crying, but he certainly hasn't had his "last" time yet...when do kids stop waking up crying?
  • "Our last adventure to the park" - Our niece used to always go with us...we'll have to force her to go with us soon so that the last time isn't in the past. We love pikuniku time in the park!
  • "Last colored picture made" - I thought about this when our niece was over last weekend and I saw her coloring. She used to always color as a kid and I think the only reason she did it recently was because she was bored enough at our place. Still, those were fun days when she would color for hours, creating amazing masterpieces.
  • "I keep taking pictures, never quite sure of your lasts" - Hey, this is good justification for my addiction to taking photos!
  • "The last time when we cuddle with a book, just me and you. The last time you jump in our bed and sleep between us two." - I LOVE cuddle time and this is something I don't even want to think about ending.
  • "The last time that I help you with a math or spelling test." - I really do miss helping our niece with her homework and am looking forward to helping my son with his homework. Call me crazy, but I love homework time!
  • "The last time that you need me for a ride from here to there." - We've seen this happening now that our niece's friends all drive. It's easy for parents to complain when their kids need them, but then there is also an emptiness sometimes when they suddenly don't need you anymore. Of course, not being needed is not such a bad thing. I truly believe that my job as a parent is to raise my children to be independent.

No comments:

Post a Comment