I woke up at 3:45 am last night, startled at the bedside presence shaking me awake. Baby girl had a bad dream. As I stumbled sleepily down the hall and crawled into her bed to pray with her, I was tempted to hurry back to my room. But, instead I lay there thinking of a poem a friend had recently shared, "The Last Time." There are so many last times that pass that we never even notice. I never knew the moment that is now the last time all of our kids and pets crawled into bed with us on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons or the last time I bathed one of my girls & washed their little fuzzy heads. Sometimes you just don't realize, it's a "last" moment. So I wondered to myself if this might not be the last time that she woke me to pray for her after a bad dream or the last moment we cuddled in her bed. And I stayed. And slept. For one last time.
I don't want to miss the "lasts" anymore.
The days are long and the years are short. Cherish every moment.
The Last Time
From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before,
When you have freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.
You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Nappy changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.
But don’t forget …
There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.
One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.
One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”
and do all the actions,
Then never sing them that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.
The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times.
And even then, it will take you a while to realize.
So while you are living in these times,
remember there are only so many of them
and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them.
For one last time.