The last time

IMG_2170.jpg

This picture was taken last month during my daughter’s year end music debut, at a special show just for parents. The childcare program she was enrolled in conveniently partnered with a music school. Knowing that it might be her last music performance (and another last time for me as a parent), I made sure to slip out of the office that day to catch a glimpse.

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.

- Author Unknown -

Some say you won’t enjoy every moment of being a parent -- I don’t really agree though.

Children grow up in the blink of an eye, and there are so many amazing memories to cherish along the way. 

Obviously there will be ups and downs at every stage, not to mention the parent guilt we experience. Strenuous situations can take the wind out of our sails, break our hearts, and cause wrinkles and grey hair. But overcoming tough times builds character and often marks defining moments in our lives, helping us grow. So many lessons to be learned, mostly for us adults! 

Our blended family has four kids, my two and Shawn’s two, ranging from kindergartener to teenager. There are a lot of dynamics at play, plenty of challenges, and things are constantly changing. Our lives are full of many incredible experiences and things to look forward to. 

From naps to breastfeeding, there are way too may last times to count. But by far, the most profound shift for me as a parent has occurred this summer as my youngest daughter transitions into grade 1. Girlfriends warned me about tears at this milestone but it has had a bigger impact than expected. Perhaps because my last baby is finally getting too big to carry and becoming more independent by the day. It also coincided with her finishing up at the daycare my kids attended for the past six years. I still remember saying good-bye to our nanny so the girls could attend the full time daycare and preschool program (my oldest was 5 and my little one was 19 months at the time… it was a big deal then too!).  

Change is constant (and sometimes difficult), something we are becoming better at accepting in our home. As time goes on, I am finding myself more and more eager to experience the next surprise as our kids continue to grow.

Would love to hear about the last times that have impacted you the most as a parent. Please share below!